The planting of the tree was a symbolic tie to both the country of Lebanon and to a 1955 goodwill event in which former Lebanon Vice Mayor Frank Baddour, who was of Lebanese descent, traveled to the country of Lebanon with other Lebanon mayors across the United States to bring back cedar trees to plant.
BouKaram originally searched for the tree planted in 1955 but was unable to find it.
After he contacted Mayor Bernie Ash, BouKaram was able to visit Lebanon again. This time, he met Baddour’s daughter and grandson who joined them in the ceremony to plant the sapling.
“The mayor chose the park where we planted because it was on Baddour Parkway, so with that and with the attendance of Dr. Baddour’s daughter and grandson, it was really a nice tribute to him,” BouKaram said.
Ash said he was pleased to have BouKaram visit Lebanon again, and was especially honored to receive the cedar tree in the park.
“It’s quite an honor for the city to have this young man visit us and want to talk to us,” Ash said, “I’m very excited about it. It’s always exciting to meet new and interesting people.”
BouKaram has about three months left on his journey across the United States, when he will complete his visits to the 47 Lebanons in 37 states.