A National Campaign helps add trees at Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) — A national effort recognizing and honoring veterans is taking place in Rochester and across the country.

Saluting Branches is a non-profit that is holding its fifth annual event Wednesday. The event brings together arborists from all over the world to work on 66 national cemeteries in their area.

In Rochester, the work is being done at the Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial. 25 people including local arborists and members of Sentence to Serve uprooted 50 trees and grinded stumps. This all in an effort to diversify the trees at the memorial.

Saluting Branches Rochester Site Leader, and District Manager of Maier Tree & Lawn Company Ryan Brick

Rochester Site Leader Ryan Brick says this is the least arborists can do. “It’s minuscule in the big scheme of things, but it’s the little things that sometimes can be the big things and this is one little thing we can do to honor our veterans and those who have served our country.” Brick hopes to make this an annual event that local arborists can be apart of.

Lonnie Hebl, Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial Committee President says up keeping the memorial will benefit future generations.

Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial Committee President Lonnie Hebl

“We wanna keep it looking nice so that it is something for future generations to learn from as well as understand that freedom is not free,” Hebl said. He also added this partnership with Saluting Branches is a great opportunity to keep costs low and maintain the memorial for years to come.

The 50 new trees will be planted by Sargent’s next week, and instead of only one species of trees there will now be five.

Ubah Ali

Ubah Ali

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