A memorial tree has been planted at the Museum of Veterans in Vilonia commemorating the 100 year anniversary of World War I.
A tree was planted, Thursday, at the Museum of Veterans and Military History, 53 N. Mt. Olive, in Vilonia, recognizing the 100 year anniversary of World War I. The tree planting is a project of the Arkansas World War I Centennial Commemoration Committee and the Arkansas Forestry Department where the forestry department will be planting one memorial tree in every county in Arkansas. The commemoration committee also provided a small container of soil from the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in France, a symbol of the connection between France and the U.S.
The U.S. sent nearly two million men in the American Expeditionary Force, forming nearly 50 combat divisions. Some volunteered, some were drafted. More than 200,000 American Doughboys were wounded in combat and about 53,000 died of wounds including 2,000 Arkansans. Arkansans fought on land, at sea and in the skies to defend the people of France and Belgium. Soldiers, sailors and Marines from Arkansas were involved in some of the fiercest fights of the war including the first fight between American and German troops. When the war ended, about 72,000 Arkansans had served in some capacity.