Remembering our heroes

Elms planted to honor WWI soldiers

A memorial to the fallen and remembered soldiers of World War I was revitalized Thursday at Stearns Park beach in Ludington.

At the north end of the park sits a large stone with a plaque inscribed with the words, “These elms were planted by the Auxiliary of Edwin H. Ewing Post #76 American Legion Auxiliary in honor of the men of Mason County who served in the World War of 1914-1918.”

Over time, the original trees were ravaged by Dutch Elm disease, and for years the plaque has referenced trees that were no longer standing.

That changed Thursday when the Ludington Tree Advisory Board and members of the Ludington Department of Public Works (DPW) planted new, disease-resistant elm trees in place of the originals, restoring the memorial to its original glory.

Sharon Bradley-Johnson, chair of the Tree Advisory Board, said the board noticed the absence of the elms and — with 2018 marking the World War I centennial — thought it appropriate to replace the trees with a strain of DED-resistant Triumph Elms.

The Triumph Elms are bred to survive DED through generations of using genes from trees that withstood the effects of the disease, according to DPW employee Dan Hinderer.

The Auxiliary of the Edwin H. Ewing American Legion Post No. 76 and the Honor Guard were present for the ceremony, as was Ludington Mayor Kaye Ferguson Holmen.

Read the full story in Friday’s Ludington Daily News print and e-Editions