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04/20/11 — Memory tree

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Memory tree

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on April 20, 2011 1:46 PM

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News-Argus/MICHAEL K. DAKOTA

A small group of people meets under a tree near the intersection of Spruce and Center streets Monday to remember an airman who went missing over Vietnam in 1972. The participants gathered for a rededication of "The Freedom Tree," which, 38 years ago, was planted to commemorate fallen Capt. Peter Cleary, whose remains were later recovered and buried at Arlington National Cemetery on April 12, 2002.

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Capt. Peter Cleary, an airman who learned to fly at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, was promoted to major after his fighter jet went down over Vietnam Oct. 10, 1972.

The last time Midge Linnevers and Tommy Gibson met near the intersection of Center Street and Spruce, they left a willow oak half their size on a nearby green. "It was just a seedling," said Gibson, who, back in 1973,...

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