Joseph and Therese Giannone were on a mission: the landscaping around the Veterans’ Memorial in Marco Island Cemetery, for which their sons had raised money as their Eagle Scout Project in 2007, was in need of a facelift. So they contacted Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island at the suggestion of their friend Virginia Read, and the project took shape. After the completion of the new landscape design and planting, with the support of the Marco Island Cemetery Association, the newly refurbished Veteran’s Memorial was ready for Memorial Day 2021.
And so, on Saturday, May 29, 2021, Father Tim Navin came to the Marco Island Cemetery to bless the Veterans’ Memorial in the presence of the Giannones, some of their friends, and members of the Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island. The brief ceremony began with Garden Club President Susan Neustadt welcoming Father Navin, Garden Club members, and others who had joined the gathering for the blessing of the Veterans’ Memorial. Next, club member Sara Wolf recognized those Garden Club members who had worked on the refurbishment project: Sue Oldershaw, Janet Watson, Nancy Adams, Maria Bachich, and Monna Hormel. Then Father Navin gave a blessing for the memorial and for all veterans, and ended his remarks by asking all those present to join him in the Lord’s Prayer. At the conclusion of the blessing, Wolf asked those present to name and honor their family members who had served in the United States Armed Forces. Each person present named his or her family members who had protected our country in the First and Second World Wars, the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War and described the family member’s branch of service and the theatre in which they had served our country.
The Calusa Garden Club is a member of the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs and membership is open to those interested in horticulture, floral design and environmental matters residing five months or more in Collier County.