Village of Colon awarded Liberty Tree Memorial

The Village of Colon  has been designated one of the country’s Liberty Tree Memorial sites. The Liberty Tree Memorial includes a ceremonial 10 ft. tall disease-resistant American Liberty Elm and commemorative bronze Liberty Tree plaque that tells the story of our country’s freedom. The gift is made possible by a grant through Elm Research Institute (ERI), Keene, NH. The Liberty Tree dedication ceremony is being planned for Liberty Tree Day, August 14 at 11:00 at the Colon Community Park.. The public will be invited to attend.

What is a Liberty Tree Memorial?

As early as 1646, the colonists celebrated the planting of shade trees. Their favorite was the American elm, native to their new country. Boston’s famous Liberty Tree was planted in 1646, about 25 years after the landing at Plymouth Rock. By the time of the Revolution, it was over 100 ft. tall and had become popular as the rallying point for protests against George III and a meeting place for the “Sons of Liberty.” In an act of revenge, the British troops cut down the “Liberty Tree” in August of 1775. Reflecting on that moment, General Lafayette said “The world should never forget the spot where once stood the Liberty Tree, so famous in your annals.”

The Liberty Tree Society, sponsored by ERI, is the promoter of the Liberty Tree Memorial project. In order to bring this first symbol of Freedom to Americans everywhere the Institute has established the Liberty Tree Society with a four-fold mission: First to fulfill the goal of Governor Peabody by establishing August 14th as Liberty Tree Day, not just in Massachusetts, but in all 50 states; Second to dedicate Liberty Tree Memorials in 1000 communities, Third to tell the exciting story of the Liberty Tree in classrooms across the land, Fourth to continue the “Re-Elming” of America by planting disease-resistant American Liberty Elms in public spaces nationwide.

To date 426 towns and colleges have partnered with local volunteer organizations, such as Scouts, Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution and Rotarians, to commemorate this first symbol of freedom.  1,000 Liberty Tree Memorial will be dedicated in 2010. To qualify for the Liberty Tree Memorial project, a town or college must agree to establish  the Liberty Tree Memorial in a prominent location and hold a public event at which time the Thomas Paine poem ‘Liberty Tree”  is read.  Elm Research Institute is currently accepting letters of interest from towns, schools and civic minded nonprofit groups who wish to participate.

The institute was founded by John P. Hansel in 1967 with the purpose of saving the American elm from extinction. ERI sponsored genetic research that resulted in the American Liberty Elm, a purebred descendant of disease-resistant American elms. It is the only elm with a Lifetime Warranty against Dutch elm disease and is distribute exclusively by Elm Research Institute. Since its introduction in 1984, the American Liberty Elm has been used widely for elm restoration on city streets, in front of public buildings, and for landscaping around new construction. More than a quarter of a million American Liberty Elms have been planted in over 1000 communities including the U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, DC, Independence Hall & Liberty Bell Center, Philadelphia, PA. For more information about this national project, phone Elm Research Institute, 603-358-6198, visit online at www.elmresearch.org or write to 11 Kit Street, Keene, NH, 03431.

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