On the evening of Wednesday, May 24,Sierra Leone’s most famous landmark, Freetown’s “Cotton Tree”, was destroyed by heavy rains and strong winds that hit the country.“, Comments Sierra Leone Telegraph. Crowds had gathered around the jagged stump in downtown Freetown since dawn.

The centuries-old Cheese Tree is a historical monument donated by nature to hundreds of freed transatlantic slaves who arrived on the shores of Sierra Leone, West Africa, from the USA, Canada, the Caribbean and the middle of the ocean. , after the abolition of slavery, resembles the site of Sierra Leone.

It was under this tree that, in the late 18th century, slaves landed from North America, where they had won their freedom by fighting for the British during the American War of Independence, came to pray.e century.

Speaking hours after the tree fell, President Julius Maada Biot tweeted: “The famous cotton tree fell due to heavy rains that hit our capital this evening. This is a big loss for the nation. The first settlers considered it a symbol of freedom. There we will have something that will testify to the place of this great tree in our history. All votes will be combined for this.

In response to the president’s tweet, British actor Idris Elba, whose father was from Sierra Leone, paid tribute to The Cotton Tree, writing: “It’s very sad. The roots are still there. Sierra Leone.”

Stamps and banknotes

British daily newspaper Time says the 70-meter-high tree was featured on the country’s banknotes and stamps, that its branches served as a perch for thousands of fruit bats, and that worshipers gathered at its roots to pray.

“For us, the Cotton Tree was not just a tree, it was a link between the past, present and future, and we must strive to perpetuate it”said Julius Maada Bio, quoted Sierra Leone Telegraph. “We also find comfort in the fact that when a tree falls naturally due to extreme weather conditions, new life is born.”