21 July 2014

Remembering Fallen Civil War Soldiers, One Tree at a Time

620,000 trees will be planted in honor of each Civil War Soldier who died in battle. Visitors traveling between Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and Charlottesville, Virginia on the scenic byway will be able to remember the Soldiers’ sacrifice in a new and very unique way.

This is all to commemorate the Civil War’s 150th anniversary. The Journey through Hallowed Ground Partnership’s Living Legacy Project will be planting or dedicating a tree for each man who died in the line of duty from 1861 through 1865. 1,500 trees already have been planted or dedicated. The goal is to have all 620,000 grown tall by the Civil War’s bicentennial in 50 years.

The fallen will not only be honored with the blooming trees, the 180-mile long memorial will be interactive as well. Each tree will be geotagged, and visitors can access information about each Soldier represented, including photos, diaries, and records from the 1860s. Half of the Civil War’s fallen Soldiers are unknown, but even they will have trees dedicated in their honor.

The interactive experience will make it easier for people to connect with those who served generations before us. Having living trees represent each human sacrifice gives us a beautiful symbol that can grow with today’s and tomorrow’s people. Geotagging the trees with the Soldiers’ stories brings what may seem like distant history to the present.

It’s amazing to see the unique ideas groups and organizations come up with to recognize and honor our fallen service members. The Living Legacy Project takes remembering to the next level by doing something great for the environment as well.

What are some memorable actions you’ve seen people take to honor those who’ve given the ultimate sacrifice? Do any of them involve technology or serve multiple purposes?

Start the discussion here and connect within the military network.

Image Copyright: Tony L. Sandys / Washington Post

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