William CasteelNewcomerstown BureauWEST LAFAYETTE -- Local residents, and others gathered at the Troop Train Memorial Park on May 5 to observe a re-planting of a tree that was dedicated to the memory of former WTNS news director John Terry. A pin oak tree originally planted at the 1990 memorial dedication of the park had recently succumbed due to incompatible soil conditions according to information provided by the Ohio State Extension office following investigation into the loss of the tree. The new tree, a sugar maple, was re-planted in a different location at the park and will be more compatible to the soil that is at the site.Terry was responsible for setting up a live radio-telephone connection so that troop members that were involved in the Sept. 11, 1950, train accident could contact their families back home in eastern Pennsylvania. The 28th Pennsylvania National Guard were on their way to Camp Atterbury, located in Indiana to start basic training. The train was carrying 655 members when it was struck by a west bound passenger train that failed to notice the flares and other emergency signals that were set up by the troop train which was stalled due to a broken air hose. The accident claimed the lives of 33 guard members.Other ceremony highlights were Mayor Jack Patterson reading a passage from a 1988 issue of "The Keystone" magazine that featured historical coverage of the accident, as well as the taps which were played by local resident Brianna Mathews. The tree planting task was done by members of the local Boy Scout Troop No. 403. Terry's daughters, Jewell Terry and Jill Bussey, were also in attendance at the ceremony and said they were grateful to the citizens of West Lafayette for wanting to continue to honor their father. "The new tree signifies a new beginning for us. We had lost our mother in January, then we were informed that Dad's tree had died a month later," Jewell Terry said. She said the tree will be something to live on in their father's name, and future generations would know him when they see the tree and read the memorial marker.The Troop Train Memorial Park also displays a stunning granite obelisk that features the names of each solider that perished in the accident that foggy September morning. The park is located on the corner of Railroad and Kirk streets.