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My trip to Gatlinburg was awesome! It's always awesome there! I made some first time hikes to waterfalls I haven't seen before, but the thing that made me the happiest was finally finding the Pearl Harbor Tree!
It's located in Cades Cove and I had some "dummy proof" directions to help me find it. Of course, the blonde is strong with this one so it actually took me more than one attempt to find it. LOL! I had to get the "dummy proof" directions dummied down!
The park rangers don't like to talk about this tree or give out too much information on it's location because they are afraid that someone will find it and damage it cut it down or do something else that is just as stupid to the tree. The really sad part about that, is that they are probably right.
Luckily, the majority of the people go looking for it to simply photograph the tree and touch the trunk as a way of touching and remembering history.
The story that has been handed down through the years about this tree goes....
In 1941, this part of the mountains was still pretty much cut off from the rest of the world with people living off of the land, but on December 7, 1941, Golman Myers was listening to his little battery operated radio and learned of the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was saddened by the loss of lives, the fact that America was bound to enter the war and by the fact that his sons would probably be drafted into that war.
He went into the woods that surrounded his homestead and found a sapling that he dug up and brought home. He planted the sapling in his yard and placed an old bike tire rim around it to help make sure that nothing happened to the young tree that he had just planted. He told his sons, "We will remember this day forever!"
Golman was right. America joined the war. His sons were drafted. We remember.
Golman's sons were both sent overseas to fight. Luckily, they both made it back home. However, Golman died four years after planting the sapling on his property. He was working the farm and had a heart attack.
Today, Golman Myers' house no longer exists. If you search the woods hard enough you may find some signs of the house that once existed. The thing that remains though, is this tree. That tree. The tree. The tiny sapling that was planted as a memorial.
The old tire rim is still there, but the tree has out grown it and that is an amazing thing. A metal sign attached to a chain that can grow with the tree has been added to honor the man who transplanted it and the date on which happened.
I found this tree. I touched this tree. I just may be a better person because of it.