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Sullivan Brothers Memorial Trees

Common Name: Japanese Flowering Crabapple
Botanical Name: Malus floribunda

Current Location: Capitol Square, North Oval Lawn
Originally Planted: June 12, 1952
Replanted: April 4, 2008

Sponsor: VFW Waterloo
Sponsor State: Iowa

Honoree Details

George, Madison, Albert, Francis and Joseph Sullivan of Waterloo, Iowa, became known nationwide after they enlisted in the Navy and requested the ability to "stick together" while in the service. All of the brothers gave their lives in the defense of their country when the U.S.S. Juneau, on which they were serving, was sunk due to enemy action in November 1942.

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Ceremony

In 1952, one crabapple tree was planted on the Capitol Grounds for each of the five Sullivan brothers. Those present at the tree planting ceremony included Mrs. Sullivan, Senator Guy Gillette of Iowa and Congressman Harold Royce Gross of Iowa.

Photo courtesy of the National Museum of the U.S. Navy.

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Courtesy of the National Museum of the U.S. Navy Flickr account.

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Tree Details

The most significant ornamental feature of these trees is the light pink flowers appearing in April that initially start in bud as crimson red. After about 50 years, the original trees were severely declining and gradually being lost. In 2005, cuttings were taken, grown by the U.S. Botanic Garden and later planted at this current location.