Hi all, I am getting ready to go to the board in two weeks and was presented with the above question at a study group. All of the Sergeants including myself have been unable to produce an answer regarding the meaning behind the tree, or the relevance the tree has, at Audie's grave site. If anyone could provide the answer with a source I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.
Original Post
The oak tree by his grave has a sidewalk wrapping around it, didn't find any significant details on it. JFK has a dedicated oak tree along with others who requested trees at there headstones.

Under the oak trees is where the bugler stands according to the creed below.

Author Unknown

I am the bugler of Arlington
But this honor belongs not to one man alone.
Today, I stand the watch.
Yesterday in our history, it was stood by the many who have gone before me.
Tomorrow in our future, others will carry on when I am gone,
Because this great nation of ours will always have a need
for paying tribute to its honored dead.

So today, I am the bugler of Arlington.
I stand alone with my thoughts
On the brow of a windswept hill
Beneath the swaying bows of a protective oak
Watching o'er our nation's dead.
Around me stand the living,
Beneath me lie the dead.
The open grave not far away
Leaves little to be said.
So, I stand alone with my thoughts today,
And find so much for which to be thankful.

Yes, I'm profoundly thankful
For these stones upon this hillside
Over which I daily play,
They tell a story of our country; For them I duly pray
The oak tree and Audie's grave have no significance with each other. It just happens to be where the tree is planted and where Audie is buried. The Black Oak tree "myth" has come and gone over the years as certain NCOs feel the need to make some candidates squirm. I base my information after speaking with Larryann Willis: Executive Director of the Audie Murphy Research Foundation, Richard Rodgers: Webmaster of audiemurphy.com and SSG(R) Stan Smith: former President & Editor of the Audie Murphy National Fan Club.

It's a bogus question!
As a front-running disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club in any manner at this point in time.

Your question of the significance of the oak tree that is near his grave and that of so many other graves could indirectly be linked to him as well.


Original quote from http://warfoto.com/AudieMurphy.htm :
" Audie Murphy was buried yesterday beneath a white oak tree in Arlington National Cemetery in a ceremony that briefly brought together Murphy's disparate worlds as most decorated soldier and undistinguished cowboy actor. "


From Wikipedia:
"Oak leaves are traditionally an important part of German Army regalia. They also symbolize rank in the United States Armed Forces. A gold oak leaf indicates an O-4 (Major or Lt. Commander), whereas a silver oak leaf indicates an O-5 (Lt. Colonel or Commander). Arrangements of oak leaves, acorns and sprigs indicate different branches of the United States Navy Staff corps officers. Oak leaves are embroidered onto the covers (hats) worn by field grade officers and flag officers in the United States armed services.
If a service member earns multiple awards of the same medal, then instead of wearing a ribbon or medal for each award, he or she wears one metal representation of an "oak leaf cluster" attached to the appropriate ribbon for each subsequent award."


Original quote from http://www.fleurdelis.com/symbolism_LMNOP.htm#Oak (a website on heraldry:
"Oak Tree, Leaves, Bush: Great age and strength; Heroism and victory"

Also from the above website on colors:
White (Argent) Peace and sincerity
or if the tree really is a black oak:
Black (Sable) Constancy or grief

There is also a list of memorial trees within Arlington National Cemetery, not sure if that is one of them but here's a list of all. He's buried in section 46 and there are three oaks there (by my count from the list) that are memorial trees: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.m...C_Memorial_Trees.pdf

So perhaps the tree there does not mean anything for MAJ Audie Murphy's death but for heraldric purposes (depending on the color) the tree stands for Heroism and if the website above listed it correctly the 'White Oak' signifies peace and heroism. Major rank is signified by an Oak leaf (but the tree was there before he passed so this is just coincidence or extreme forward planning...) and if it IS one of the memorial trees well then it represents a living memory of the group it was planted/dedicated for.

Short of emailing Arlington to ask if it is one of the memorial trees or if it was planted for any specific reason that's as good an answer as I could find.
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