A sense of sadness and disappointment came over Amherst’s Jack Perry when he learned a descendant of an oak present at the battle for Vimy Ridge was destroyed this week.
©Christopher Gooding/Amherst News
There are a lot of things military veteran Jack Perry has seen in his life, but nothing has hurt him more than the sight of a broken oak.
“I’m 86-years-old and a member of the Legion for 60-years, I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” Perry said, holding the young sapling in his hands. “I’m just sick to my stomach.”
Perry has served in Europe and all over Canada and this dying oak, he says, is not just any tree. It’s a direct descendent of a very specific oak that once stood at the sight of France’s Vimy Ridge where Canadians defined their military prowess during the first World War.
Following the 1917 battle one hundred years ago, one soldier gathered up a handful of acorns from a half-buried oak on the battlefield and later planted them at his Ontario home. The Vimy Oaks Legacy Corporation, an entity formed to create living memorials at Vimy and across Canada, now provide descendants of that oak to communities through
What they hadn’t planned for
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The Amherst Police issued a request for assistance on social media looking for information on who was responsible, but Perry says there is very little punishment that can outweigh the sentiment connected with the branch and the legacy its connected with. The legion does have a second application for another Vimy oak and, if successful, Perry hopes the person responsible will be brave enough to come out and learn
“[We] purchase things like this so we can remember our heroes,” Perry said. “We wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for them… I’d like to invite whoever did this to the new tree planting ceremony. Please come.”
If anyone saw or heard anything that might help authorities with this unfortunate act, please report it to Amherst Police at 902-667-8600.