The North Carolina Department of Transportation and the City of Jacksonville are working together to improve the Beirut Memorial Grove. Jared Brumbaugh has more.
Last October, NCDOT planted a tree for each service member who died when terrorists bombed the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon on Oct. 23rd, 1983. The decision to create the grove was made in cooperation with the city, but some of the autumn flowering cherry trees have been damaged by storms, vehicle accidents, and construction. That prompted NCDOT to exchange the trees for a different type. The trees comprising the grove, located at the intersection of U.S. 17 South and N.C. 24, will be removed soon and replaced by new, heartier trees that will last longer. After testing the soil at the site, communications officer for NCDOT Divisions 2 & 3 Brian Rick says a variety of trees will thrive at the grove, including ginkgo, black gum, golden rain tree, and pond cypress. The replacement trees will be chosen by Jacksonville officials.