Logansport group concerned a memorial with deep roots might be d - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Logansport group concerned a memorial with deep roots might be destroyed

The trees were planted in 1923 for those veterans of World War I who died. The trees were planted in 1923 for those veterans of World War I who died.

A battle is brewing in Logansport over two old oak trees slated to come down to make way for a new church building.

The two trees have been growing deep roots in Logansport for more than 90 years. They were planted back in 1923 in front of what was then the newly-dedicated Logansport High School, as a memorial for the local veterans who died in World War I. 

That high school burned down in 1990, and First Baptist Church in Logansport bought the property in the years that followed. Now, the church is planning on rebuilding and expanding, after their own building burned down 2 years ago.

"We are finally, after so long, being able to rebuild, the folks in the church are excited about it, we've got a parking lot that is being started" says First Baptist pastor Lance Cypert.

The plans call for the removal of the trees.

Monday, residents in the community protested and tied yellow ribbons around the trees. The protestors say during World War II, people in the area tied yellow ribbons around them to remind everyone who passed by of the locals that were fighting in the war. Now, some of the locals are fighting to keep the trees alive.  

"When I found out they were planted in 1923, for the veterans of World War I, the boys that died, that was a terrible war, it was an awful war, and those men gave their lives. When they dedicated these two trees as a memorial to them, to me that meant more to me to save the trees," says protestor and veteran Charles Freeman.

"People learned to skate, people learned to ride their bicycles, we played tag and red rover and anything else you want to name, under those trees," Francis Freeman says about growing up near the trees.

"(For) the trees to be cut down I think is a discredit to veterans as a whole," says veteran and protestor Kevin Bryant. "Myself being a veteran from desert storm and the Iraqi freedom, what are we forgetting in America if we overlook the veterans."

When KSLA News 12 asked the pastor if he had any comments about the controversy, he said: "Anytime that you are moving and following God's plan, there is always going to be controversy, which is just part of it. You never know where controversy is going to come but we are unified, we love God, we're loving our community, we're going to keep doing that."

The protestors say the fight isn't over. They say the DeSoto Parish Police jury will consider a petition in early July to designate the trees as historic.

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