Illinois School Cuts Down Tree Honoring Dead Soldier

U.S. Army Private Caleb Lufkin died in 2006 after being injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq

The school superintendent in the central Illinois town of Knoxville has apologized after workers cut down a tree planted at a high school in memory of a local soldier.

District 202 Superintendent Steve Wilder said the tree planted to honor U.S. Army Private Caleb Lufkin was unintentionally cut down last fall along with others during construction at Knoxville High School. Knoxville is about 40 miles northwest of Peoria.

"Unfortunately, the plaque that was originally placed next to the tree memorializing Caleb had been moved," officials wrote in a memo posted to the district's website.

Lufkin died in May 2006 of injuries suffered in a roadside bombing in Iraq. School officials believe the tree was planted in 2007.

Wilder said he's apologized to Lufkin's family and said a new tree will be planted in Lufkin's honor and a plaque placed with it.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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