Arbor Day was used as away to honor the fallen men and women of the Armed Forces. A living memorial now stands in Bainbridge reminding us of those who fought and died on the battlefield for our freedoms.
Steve Blanton, a Vietnam War veteran, recently returned from Washington, D.C. where he had the honor of witnessing the Changing of the Guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier.
CDR Steve Blanton says, "It was very moving, and any time we honor our fallen heroes it's moving and fitting to do so."
Friday in an equally somber ceremony the city of Bainbridge paid homage to the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice through a living memorial. Seven gingko trees were planted on the grounds of the National Guard Armory.
Lynda Todaro of the Bainbridge Tree Committee says, "Six of them are for starting with World War I through Iraq war, and the seventh is dedicated to all other military campaigns."
The gingko tree is a symbol of longevity and of a hope for world peace. The tree also represents remembrance.
Lynda says, "Because it's a living memorial it's going to continue on for years and years. It's going to be wonderful every time we pass by. It will certainly be in our hearts and minds."
Blanton adds, "Our men and women are doing great things around the world in the global War on Terrorism, and a lot of that doesn't make the network news."
And lest we forget, these trees of valor stand as a reminder of those who gave their lives for our freedom.
The Bainbridge City Council donated the trees. Keep America Beautiful, the Bainbridge Tree Committee and the Georgia Forestry Commission all helped make the event possible.