PEEKSKILL, N.Y. (AP) – It’s been around for a lot of history, but now, unfortunately, it IS history.

A 72-foot-tall white oak tree that was used to hang a recruiter for the British army during the Revolutionary War is coming down, declared beyond saving after being hit by lightning last month.

The tree, one of the largest in Westchester County, sits outside Peekskill High School. Schools Superintendent Judith Johnson told The Journal News of Westchester for Sunday’s editions, “This is a sad moment for all of us,” adding that the tree was “a reminder of the past and the importance our country places on its freedom.”

In 1777, Daniel Strang was hanged from the tree for trying to enlist soldiers for the British.

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