There is a tree called freedom and it grows somewhere in the hearts of men, rain falls, ice freezes, wind blows, the tree shivers, stedies itself again, steadies itself like Hugh O’Flaherty’s hand, guiding trapped and hunted people, day and night, to what all hearts love and understand, the tree of freedom upright in the light. Mediterranean palm, Italian cypress, Hom oak, Stone pine; A peaceful grove in honour of that man, commemorates all who struggle to be free. The hurried world is a slave of time, wise men are victims of their shrewdest plans. (By poet, Brendan Connelly – June 1994)
During WW2 in occupied Rome, Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty helped to save some 6500 people (Anti Fascists, Jews and Allied POW escapees) from Nazi capture and almost certain death, by hiding them in safe houses and apartments throughout Rome. These trees were planted in 1994 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Rome and the success of the Monsignor’s escape organisation.