The community has another local connection to the Czech Republic with the planting of a tree Sunday afternoon in Sugar Creek.

This comes on the heels of a visit earlier this month by that country’s foreign minister, part of a season of anniversaries, some with local ties.

The linden tree planted in 9/11 Memorial Park is one of thousands planted around the world to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of an independent Czechoslovakia.

This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, that is, when students peacefully took to the streets and within days Czechoslovakia joined other Eastern European nations in throwing off 40 years of communism and Soviet domination at the time the Berlin Wall was coming down.

“In that moment, my nation decided to turn back to Europe,” Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek said earlier this month at a lunch at the Truman Library in Independence.

And the Truman Library is part of yet another anniversary. Truman was president at the time NATO – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, binding the U.S., Canada and Western Europe in a military alliance – was formed. Twenty years ago this spring, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland joined NATO, with the official signing ceremony at the Truman Library.

Petricek said NATO is the most successful military alliance in history, and he called it a home of freedom “in this complex, complicated world.”