The Historic Pacific Highway
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In 1922 a one mile stretch of the Pacific Highway north of Seattle at N. 137th to N. 160th was dedicated as a "Road of Remembrance" to the fallen soldiers' of World War I.
After the War in 1919 The American Forestry Association petitioned for many of the new roads that were being built to replace the "elbow joint" way of travel. These roads were to be planted with trees along the side of the roads. By the early 30's Victory way stretched from the north end of the University Bridge all the way to Kenmore. Sadly by the late 30's the name Victory Way began to fade.
The only dedicated road in Washington that continues to be a "Road of Remembrance". Des Moines Memorial Drive
For the motorist who goes long distances in search of the beautiful, how to get there and what to see has been reduced to a science. Everything is done for him except "stepping on the gas."
The routes are mapped and the beautiful spots he is to see are pictured. Now why not make the roads along which he travels things of beauty, that is, construct roads that are something more than a way to get somewhere.
Careful estimates show that one billion dollars will be spent for road building in this country during the next four years. With this opportunity before us, the American Forestry Association at Washington is campaigning to make these routes Roads of Remembrance.
It is urging the planting of memorial trees along our highways, in honor of the men who offered their lives to their country. In this work every automobile club member and every automobile owner as well can play an important part.
Much has been done; already along some of the established motor highways tree planting is now under way. When the citizens of a community plant memorial trees along a given stretch of highway they will come to think of that road as much more than a means on which to transport hay and corn to market.
They will come to think of it as Charles Lathrop Peck, President of the American Forestry Association does, that is, "hay and corn are not the burdens of a good road. The real burden is civilization; the bringing together of the people and town.
If roads can be beautified and then our memorials placed with these roads in mind, the motorist will shortly find a nation-wide memorial scheme over which it will be a pleasure and a delight to travel.
This is being done in Great Britain, where the Roads of Remembrance idea has been taken up on a nationwide scale. It includes the proper placing of memorials throughout the kingdom and the building of memorial bridges and the planting of groves at various points."
In France it has always been the custom to plant memorial, trees along the roads, and among the things that deeply impressed the American Doughboy in France were the rows of trees that bordered the highways.
The American soldier might also have been impressed I from a utilitarian stand point if he had known that France gets one-seventh of all her fuel from the trees along the canals and roads.
Roads of Remembrance
France, too, is going ahead with her road building plan. Four great mountain roads are to be relaid and rebuilt in the upper Vosges region, leading from France into Alsace.
The roads have existed as strategic military roads, but the "Commission des Routes" of the district of Vosges, is looking to the future when tourists will pass that way. The present effort is to make them available for pleasure vehicles and line them with trees so they will be beautiful pleasure roads.
Vimy Ridge is to be a vast memorial park to the Canadian soldiers. Pitted as it is with shell holes and mine craters it will never again be useful as agricultural land and so the Canadian Government will plant it with the maples of Canada.
It has been suggested that in the same way the Argonne Region be made an American Park, a shrine hallowed by the blood of the American soldiers.
Another plan that has been urged is a complete system of roads leading through all the famous battle grounds of France so that Clemenceau's message "The great army that died must ever be kept in Remembrance," may be given definite form in our own time.
The American Forestry Association has called upon the people of this country to provide money for American tree seeds to help in its plans for reforesting those battle areas now in ruins, for the forests of France aided in keeping back the enemy until the American Doughboy arrived.
As a result, in many places the forests went with the roads and there is much to be done. France stands as a great object lesson to the civilized world. What finer memorial of the Great War than to give her back both her forests and her new Roads of Remembrance.
With our own great road building plan in front of us let us not only aid France. Why not have the people do more than furnish the money for the building of their roads.
A golden opportunity confronts the automobile mail, the women's clubs and patriotic organizations of the land. Let them get together and make these roads Roads of Remembrance. Plant them with trees so they will stand as an honor to the heroes of the great war for civilization.
When the Armistice was signed, the American Forestry Association issued a call for memorial tree planting. The call has been answered by thousands. The Association is registering all memorial trees planted and is sending out certificates to the organization or Individual planting these trees.
A renewed assurance of the fact that we are a united country is given in memorial tree planting, for both the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Daughters of the Confederacy are planting trees. These trees are not being planted alone for those who gave their lives, they are being planted in honor of those who offered their lives to the country.
The City of Minneapolis is one of the first to give us a splendid example in America. A Memorial Drive is to be erected there between two parks. The drive will be lined with the vase type of elm.
These trees are now "in training" for the shape it is planned they will have in 1950. These trees are to be planted in the spring of 1921. Fifty years from now Minneapolis will have one of the sights of the North American continent for the visitor.
The Potomac Drive at Washington is famous the world over and for but one reason—the trees that border the drive. Take these trees away and thousands of automobiles that find their way over that roadway every day would seek other routes.
Different species of trees are to be planted along the highways in Michigan for which $50,000,000 has been voted, according to W. S. Linton of the State Tax Commission and a member of the State Good Roads Association.
Along the highway from Chicago to Saginaw walnut trees are to be planted. The people along the route have promised, he reports, to improve and beautify their property.
The National Defense Highway between Bladensburg and Annapolis will be a memorial to the Maryland soldiers in the great war for civilization. The Oregon Federation of Women's Clubs are back of a plan for a Roosevelt Road in that State.
In New York a bill has been introduced to create a state commission to prepare plans for a Roosevelt Memorial Trunk Highway from Montauk Point to Buffalo. The city of Buffalo is now considering a Memorial Bridge to link Canada and the United States. The State of Indiana plans a memorial grove for every county.
A memorial grove and a tree lined approach are part of the plans for the celebration of the three hundredth anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock which will take place this year.
Daniel Boone died one hundred years ago and steps are being taken to mark the date by the planting of trees by historical societies of the States through which the Boone Highway passes.
Possibilities at hand for the motorist to take the lead in memorial tree planting are seen in the contemplated highway from Ottawa to Sarnia, which is just across the river from Port Huron, Mich.
There the road connects with the Victory Highway across Michigan to Chicago and this in turn with the Lincoln Highway which crosses the Jefferson Highway farther west. The Jefferson Highway runs from New Orleans to Winnipeg. In Louisiana the Jefferson Highway has been planted with Victory Oaks along the entire
stretch of the road in that State. Further planting is to be done along other stretches. Thus it is easy to visualize the international motor highway which in time will connect Ottawa and New Orleans and be a road of remembrance for two countries.
All of us are anxious to express our gratitude to the war heroes. A monument needs the perspective of time as well as the hand of an artist. Therefore let us build Roads of Remembrance and, when these are finished with their beautiful bridges and the
proper setting of memorial trees, place monuments at the intersections and along the roads. Millions are to be spent on roads, let them be spent wisely. While serving the great needs of commerce, now enlarging before us, these roads will bring man closer together.
Doughboy will bring us closer to "The Great Tree Maker," and
erect his own monument—a better country than that where he was born
and for which he fought. Will the motor world rise to this opportunity?
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