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Yellow ribbons decorate new Memory Tree

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Nov. 8, 2002
Although the Memory Tree that stood at the Doughboy Monument in downtown Meridian has been removed, what it stood for remains.
The tree, established by the Memory Tree Foundation in Meridian, was often decorated with yellow ribbons to honor people who have served or are currently serving in the armed forces. After being damaged by a storm this summer, the tree was cut down.
In its place a tree at Bonita Lakes has been singled out to carry on the Memory Tree Foundation's mission. Yellow ribbons will be put on an American holly tree near the entrance to Bonita Lakes beginning at 8 a.m. today as a tribute to Veterans Day.
Lou Pennebaker, founder of the Memory Tree Foundation, said other trees in the vicinity of the Doughboy Monument are not substantial enough to support the yellow ribbons that will hang on the tree this year. She said the tree will be decorated with about 40,000 ribbons.
She added that the city worked hard to help her find another location and the public is invited to help hang yellow ribbons on the new tree.
Ken Storms, a veteran of the U.S. Navy and the city of Meridian's chief administrative officer, said the city intends to work closely with the Memory Tree Foundation to find a permanent location for a new Memory Tree in the future.
The alternative Memory Tree for this year was chosen by the Memory Tree Foundation with help from Kevin Locke, senior planner with the city of Meridian's community development department.
Pennebaker said she hopes that another tree will eventually be placed at the original location.

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