Sculpture shows resident’s American pride


By Sam Wildow

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TROY — A local resident who lost a number of ash trees to ash borers decided to turn his most recent tree stump into a sculpture depicting a bald eagle, the American flag, and a Christian cross to symbolize his American pride.

“I’ve had nine trees I’ve took down,” Paul Thomas of Troy said. “I started this process five years ago.”

Thomas described removing the tops of the dead ash trees so limbs would not fall and cause damage to his or his neighbors’ properties. For this most recent tree, they cut it down to 14 feet last year, followed by cutting it down to nine feet this year.

Thomas then worked with a wood carver, Matt Missey of Ohio Tree Carving out of Berlin Heights, to have his design of a bald eagle, the American flag, and a Christian cross come to life. At the bottom of the sculpture are rocks positioned to symbolize a mountain top, with the bald eagle sitting on top of the American flag and the cross.

“It’s over 100 years old, according to the carver,” Thomas said about the former ash tree.

Thomas described how his patriotism and faith inspired the design for the tree carving, saying the bald eagle is a symbol for this country.

“And the flag is the symbol of freedom we have in this country,” Thomas said. “And then the Christian cross — one nation under God. I’m a Christian, I love the Lord.”

“I love my country, and it’s making a statement,” Thomas said. “To me, it’s making a statement that I’m proud to be an American, and these are the symbols for this country.”

The carving took place last week at Thomas’ home on Pinehurst Drive in Troy. Thomas is retired after having spent over 40 years working at BF Goodrich and also at Wright Patterson Air Force Base prior to that.

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