LITTLE ROCK—The Arkansas World War I Centennial Commemoration Committee and the Arkansas Forestry Commission have approved an application from Logan County to sponsor a World War I Memorial Tree, which will be located at the Logan County Courthouse in Booneville.
The Committee and Commission are seeking to place a WWI Memorial Tree in each of Arkansas’s 75 counties before the centennial observance of the Great War concludes at the end of 2018.
Through the program, the Arkansas Forestry Commission will donate a two-year old willow oak to an organization in each county that will plant the tree in a public location and see that it is cared for. The WWI Committee will provide soil from the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in France to be included in the planting.
The Committee is urging partnerships of local governments, Scout troops, American Legion posts, public libraries and others to sponsor and plant a WWI memorial tree in a public park, courthouse square or other appropriate location during the centennial commemoration in 2017-18, with a goal of having at least one in each of Arkansas’s 75 counties. The memorial trees will be included on the Committee’s website at http://www.wwiarkansas.com/sites-memorials.html.
In the years following the end of WWI in 1918, memorial trees were planted all over the world to remember the millions who perished during the war. More than 71,000 Arkansans served in the war, and 2,183 died. At least one stand of WWI memorial trees still exists in Arkansas: a small grove of holly trees on the campus of Henderson State University in Arkadelphia.
For more information on Arkansas’s commemoration of World War I, visit http://www.wwiarkansas.com/ or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Arkansas World War I Centennial Commemoration Committee is part of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. Other DAH divisions are the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Arkansas Arts Council, the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the Historic Arkansas Museum and the Arkansas State Archives.