200-year-old Atlanta tree transformed into COVID memorial

Under the night sky, a gold glow may catch your eye in northwest Atlanta.

It’s the canopy of a shortleaf pine, strung with 500 lights. The number is symbolic of the more than 500,000 lives lost in the U.S. during the pandemic.

"This tree has been here for a very long time," said Peter Bahouth, who owns the property with the 200-year-old tree. "It’s seen a lot from this spot from the Civil War to the pandemic. No question, it’s the elder of the premises, it’s the right representative for the memorial."

A local arborist scaled Bahouth’s 135-foot tree for two days to create the COVID memorial.

"It is a daunting project," Robert Brettschneider admitted. "But it’s just an honor to do it for what it represents. I’m just glad I could be a part of it."

At first glance pre-dawn, it’s difficult to recognize the location, but it’s actually quite a popular spot. In fact, the property that the tree sits on is one of the most desired overnight stays in Georgia and even the country.

Earlier this year, Good Day’s Paul Milliken gave us an inside look at the Airbnb suite, nestled among 200-year-old trees and built out of recycled materials.

The place of peace has hosted some 1,800 people in the past several years, and now, its towering limbs will reach even more.

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"It’s a little beacon, it sends a message," Bahouth said. "It’s a message people can see, and when they see it, they think about it, and that’s what we need to do."

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