Members of the Public Works Department spent most of Wednesday planting more than 1,200 pansies arranged like the United States flag. Fifty white wooden stars were handcrafted by the Public Works Department and placed among the blue flowers to represent the fifty states on the flag. Rows of red and white pansies filled out the stripes on the flag.
Monies from the Veterans Memorial Tree Project were used to pay for pansies that are a special variety, which are bulkier and hardier than other pansies.
The Public Works Department has a water tanker and special fertilizer to keep the plants flourishing.
The wall of 180 trees with plaques dedicated to veterans is built over an area that once was railroad track.
"This track ran across here where it's so steep, crossed the road and went south across the street. It's much nicer to have something like this in the area. It feels good to take care of something this special,"stated Commissioner of the Department of Public Works Paul Wilson who has big dreams for the area.
"We want this area to be a safe haven for people who want walk and look at the names on plaques. We hope to put in a 5-foot sidewalk with a small parking area. And, eventually we would like to add a wall behind it," he said.
"It always reminds me a little of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. It looks a little like it with the tress making a wall and the names of veterans all along it," Wilson added.
In order to continue planting the living flag in the future, donations are needed. It costs about $500 just for the materials. The Public Works Department does all the work and maintenance. Anyone who would like to donate can contact Wilson's office at 653-3391.
Donations can also be made to the Putnam County Foundation.
"The Foundation handles all of our paper work and they will accept any monies for us as well," added Wilson.
Persons who are interested in having a loved ones plaque added to the wall of trees along the highway should also call Wilson's office to check for duplications.