Students plan replacement memorial, after symbolic trees are chopped down

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TECUMSEH, Okla.-- A monument in Tecumseh destroyed, but the replacement could bring the community together.

KFOR first reported back in October, after memorial trees outside of Tecumseh Middle School were cut down.

For the class of 2001, who planted the trees in the days following the 1995 Murrah Building bombing, the sight of the stumps were infuriating.

"We wanted to turn a negative into a positive," said Tom Wilsie, Tecumseh Superintendent.

Now months away from the 20th anniversary of the bombing, a major change is on the way courtesy of the middle school student council.

"It was kids their age that had planted those trees," said Todd Trice, student council sponsor. "They asked what could we do?"

The council then set to work crafting a new monument.

"Our middle school student council have done a wonderful job of putting together a good plan," said Wilsie.

The monument sketches are filled with symbolism, including 168 markers covering the ground.

"That's going to reflect those that lost their lives that day," said Trice.

It also features two trees, which will be grown from seeds left behind by the 'Survivor Tree' in the downtown OKC Memorial.

In fact, the student council reached out to architects of the original memorial, for tips and critiques on their new monument.

"Very proud to have the architects of the Oklahoma City Memorial involved in this," said Wilsie.

Through these students' plans, a whole new generation in Tecumseh is learning exactly what their memorial meant.

"One of the students had lost a grandmother...a grandmother she never knew because of this," said Trice. "It kind of brought it home that even though it happened in OKC, it affected people in this community."

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