Here's the other "errand" I did to the south yesterday. Remember, I had showed you the original Star Hill and the new one three years ago.
Well, the Oceana Herald Journal ran an article about these two plantings of trees in the shape of stars, so now I can tell you their stories.
This one, the new one, was planted 15 years ago this week. It is a living memorial to those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Local police, firefighters and other volunteers planted the trees. One of the coolest parts of the story is that a lady, Betty Payne, helped to plant trees for both the original star and for this one. The first one was older than I guessed. It was created in the late 1940s to honor men and women who served in WWII. One tree was planted for each person from Oceana County who lost their life in that war.
The article included a quote from a 1943 newspaper, proposing the memorial. "It is a living memorial. Not of granite or cement that are usually associated with things dead, but a living and ever growing tribute to fittingly represent the fruits of the sacrifices made and security of the most honorable traditions of our country."
In order to get a good shot of the design I climbed to the top of the opposite hill. Here's the view south, with my car parked down there. I also caught a car in the picture of the star to give you a sense of the scale. The article said the star is 120 feet across.
Here's the view to the northwest.
And, since I spent a lot of time driving around to get in the right place to take a picture, let me help you out if you are local. The star is located on the west side of US 31 divided highway, just south of the Shelby exit. However, you can't really see the design from the southbound lane because you are too close. You need to drive northbound from New Era and then look west, across the other lane. That's where I was to capture these images.
If you click back to the post from three years ago, it's pretty amazing how much the trees have grown in just three years. I'm really sorry I never took a picture of the original one before it grew out of control. Back then, I was too busy raising boys and just trying to hold my life together to chase down extraneous stories, no matter how interesting.
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