Vandals tear up the WWII memorial tree
- Bill Sheehy
- Central Oregonian - News
>The top of the young tree, planted and dedicated to those who served during World War II last Memorial Day, was broken off leaving only a couple small branchesVFW Post Commander Gilbert Sharp and his wife Jessie discovered that someone had vandalized the Eisenhower Green Ash, one of the trees planted nationwide as part of "Operation Silent Witness". The destroyed tree was a reminder of uniformed Americans who fought in WWII.
Vandals hit Ochoco Creek Park again recently. Unlike a couple years ago when two young men rampaged from one end to the other, this time only one tree was destroyed - the tree dedicated to the veterans of World War II.
Gilbert and Jessie Sharp discovered the vandalism and reported it Wednesday. Gilbert Sharp is the local VFW Post Commander and along with County Judge Scott Cooper had ceremoniously dedicated the tree last Memorial Day.
The tree is an authentic direct offspring of a green ash that grows at the Texas birthplace of former-President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Eisenhower was also the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces during WWII.
The official Eisenhower Green Ash Tree has been planted as WWII memorials nationwide as part of "Operation Silent Witness" and was in honor of the 16 million soldiers in uniform and the millions more who supported them from home during WWII.
Jessie Sharp's reaction to having the top half of the young tree ripped off was a tearful one. "I'm so angry," she said, "I could cry. It was a donation and we don't know what we'll do."
Only a few branches of the tree remain on the memorial tree that had been planted in the park, making it look bedraggled as the Sharps gently replaced the weathered red and white wreath placed there during the dedication.