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COEUR D'ALENE -- Officials in northern Idaho have cut down a 65-foot Norwegian spruce dubbed the Freedom Tree in dedication to a Coeur d'Alene fighter pilot taken prisoner during the Vietnam War.

The Coeur d'Alene Press reports the tree was removed Friday as part of the McEuen Field development project.

The tree was planted in 1960 but given the name Freedom Tree in 1972 after Fred McMurray was captured.

McMurray told the newspaper he hated to see the tree come down but accepts it.

McMurray says he's getting some cuttings from the tree to plant on his property.

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