Tree turned into hope following last year's tornadoes

10 P-TREE CARVED INTO EAGLE PKG_frame_1749.jpeg
Posted at 10:49 PM, Mar 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 10:06:48-05

MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WTVF) — So much has changed in Mt. Juliet in just one year. In the Barrett Drive neighborhood, for all of the homes that have been rebuilt, there have been some that have chosen not to rebuild.

On these streets, a patchwork of old and new. Gloria and Jay Kirkland, now proudly display what the tornado, in a sense, left behind. The tree stump was carved and painted into a bald eagle with an American flag below it.

"I just love eagles!" said Jay Kirkland, pointing to a carving of an eagle painted from the trunk of an old tree.

Weakened by the tornado a year ago, and worried about the next one, the Kirklands decided in a time of struggle to turn their old tree into a new sign of hope.

"We hope that it brightens people's spirits," Gloria Kirkland said. "America is still the land of the free and we're still glad to be here!"

Antioch artist Dan Hartley created the bald eagle over the flag.