Planting an oak tree- growing community roots
1 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Christopher Norrie, commander of 7th Army Training Command, (7 ATC) and Command Sgt. Maj. Franklin Velez, senior enlisted advisor for 7th ATC, help plant an oak tree with community members outside the 7 ATC headquarters, Tower Ba... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Planting an oak tree- growing community roots
2 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Grafenwoehr community leaders surround an Oak tree as it id being planted by a Bundesforst personnel outside the 7 ATC headquarters, Tower Barracks, Grafenwhoehr, Germany Oct. 8, 2019. The Oak tree is the national tree for both Germany and the United... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Planting an oak tree- growing community roots
3 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Soldiers from 7th Army Training Command (7 ATC) and community members plant an oak tree outside of the 7th ATC headquarters, Tower Barracks, Grafenwhoehr, Germany Oct. 8, 2019. The Oak tree is the national tree for both Germany and the United St... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Planting an oak tree- growing community roots
4 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Col. Timothy Davis, the G3 for 7th Army Training Command (7 ATC) speaks to an audience as Lt. Col. Timothy Maracle, chaplain for 7 ATC, looks on during an Oak tree planting ceremony at the 7 ATC headquarters, Tower Barracks, Grafenwhoehr, G... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Planting an oak tree- growing community roots
5 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Franklin Velez (left), senior enlisted advisor to the commander of 7th Army Training Center (7th ATC), Col. Adam Boyd, U.S. Army Garrison-Bavaria commander, Hans-Martin Schertl, the mayor (Buergermeister) of Vilseck, Brig.... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany- Leaders of the 7th Army Training Command (7 ATC) partnered with the German forest service, (Bundesforst) and other community members planted an oak tree outside of 7 ATC's headquarters, Tower Barracks, Grafenwoehr, Germany, Oct. 8, 2019. The ceremony represented community togetherness and unity while the tree itself represented more.

"The best day to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best day is today," said Col. Timothy Davis, the G3 for 7 ATC. "The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit."

Everyone who walks into the 7 ATC headquarters will have the opportunity to pass by the newly planted tree.

"This is a symbol of courage and strength that will remind us every time we pass by, of the things that we have in the community; our brothers and sisters in arms, our partners and allies," said Lt. Col. Timothy Maracle, the chaplain for 7 ATC.

The Bundesforst donated the oak tree to 7 ATC; then multiple leaders from 7 ATC and the community worked together to plant it in the traffic circle.

Among those who took turns shoveling was Brig. Gen. Christopher Norrie, commander for 7 ATC; Command Sgt. Maj. Franklin Velez, the senior enlisted advisor for 7 ATC; Col. Adam Boyd, commander for U. S. Army Garrison-Bavaria; Lt. Col. Donald Cherry, the executive officer of 41st Field Artillery Brigade (41 FAB); Command Sgt. Maj. Samuel Zoker, senior enlisted advisor for 41 FAB; Hans-Martin Schertl, the mayor (Buergermeister) of Vilseck; Anita Stauber, the deputy mayor of Grafenwoehr; Ulrich Maushake, the German forest director (Leitender Forstdirekor); and Kevin Quarles, Training Support Activity Europe director.

"It is such a powerful symbol of strength and knowledge," said Davis. "Communities coming together, nations coming together."