Historical Tree in Coeur d'Alene Will Be Moved - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Historical Tree in Coeur d'Alene Will Be Moved

Posted: Updated:

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Construction on the multi-million dollar McEuen Field in Coeur d'Alene hit a road bump as workers must decide if they'll uproot a tree, which is dedicated to Veterans, in order to put in a parking lot. The controversial park project cost Coeur d'Alene taxpayers $14 million dollars and was one of the sticking points in the attempt to recall Couer d'Alene's Mayor, Sandy Bloem.

Veteran's groups are upset at the thought of losing a piece of city history, but city leaders want to assure residents that history will be preserved. Coeur d'Alene Parks Director, Doug Eastwood, says it was an incredibly tough decision to cut down something that has meant so much to the community for more than 50 years.

Commonly known as the "Freedom Tree," the conifer was planted in the 1960's to stop 4th Street from extending all the way to Tubbs Hill.

During the Vietnam War, a plaque was placed at the base of the tree for a local pilot who was shot down and captured. The pilot, Captain Fred McMurray, was eventually released, but the plaque and the tree remained, as a tribute to all local veterans. With construction on the McEuen Project about to begin, the Parks Department officials say the tree will have to be removed, but its legacy will live on.

The original plaque will be moved, along with the current Veterans Memorial, to a larger, more prominent part of the park. It will include seven flag poles representing each branch of the military, along with an American Flag and another to remember prisoners of war. The Parks Department says that, more than anything, they want to preserve city history for future generations.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • One woman dead after mobile home fire in Elk

    One woman dead after mobile home fire in Elk

    Thursday, July 20 2017 9:44 AM EDT2017-07-20 13:44:42 GMT

    ELK, Wash. - One woman is dead after an early morning mobile home fire in Elk, Washington.  Firefighters responded to the fire in the heavily wooded area to find the home engulfed in flames. Two people were inside the home when the flames broke out. Crews say they were alerted by smoke detectors,

    More >>

    ELK, Wash. - One woman is dead after an early morning mobile home fire in Elk, Washington.  Firefighters responded to the fire in the heavily wooded area to find the home engulfed in flames. Two people were inside the home when the flames broke out. Crews say they were alerted by smoke detectors,

    More >>
  • WATCH: Bear rides motorcycle in Russia

    WATCH: Bear rides motorcycle in Russia

    Thursday, July 20 2017 9:37 AM EDT2017-07-20 13:37:26 GMT

    RUSSIA - Drivers in northern Russia got quite a show when two bikers decided to take their motorcycle for a ride. this was no ordinary cruise as the duo had a live bear riding with them in their sidecar.  the very well-trained bear named Tim sat calmly in his seat while even waving at cars and folks passing by. the bikers and their 250-pound bear, are actually part of a traveling circus run by the local bike club that regularly makes appearances. 

    More >>

    RUSSIA - Drivers in northern Russia got quite a show when two bikers decided to take their motorcycle for a ride. this was no ordinary cruise as the duo had a live bear riding with them in their sidecar.  the very well-trained bear named Tim sat calmly in his seat while even waving at cars and folks passing by. the bikers and their 250-pound bear, are actually part of a traveling circus run by the local bike club that regularly makes appearances. 

    More >>
  • OJ Simpson draws world attention in plea for freedom

    OJ Simpson draws world attention in plea for freedom

    Thursday, July 20 2017 8:39 AM EDT2017-07-20 12:39:32 GMT

    LOVELOCK, Nev. - Former football star and convicted felon O.J. Simpson will command the world's attention once again Thursday when he pleads for his freedom on live TV. Simpson received a 33-year sentence in 2008 for an armed robbery involving two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room. 

    More >>

    LOVELOCK, Nev. - Former football star and convicted felon O.J. Simpson will command the world's attention once again Thursday when he pleads for his freedom on live TV. Simpson received a 33-year sentence in 2008 for an armed robbery involving two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room. 

    More >>