Vets’ Memorial On Green Takes On New Look

Bill O'Brien photoThe flagpole memorial on the Green has a new look, and it’s not the first time.

Thanks to the initiative of the members of the Branford Garden Club Evening Committee, who secured the support of town officials and several town departments as well as Van Wilgen’s Garden Center, the Veterans Memorial Garden project got started in May and concluded this past week with a brief ceremony showcasing the new look garden.

“We’re thrilled that this project has become a reality,” said Linda Holmes, a co-chair of the project along with Marybeth Ciarlelli. “We can’t thank Selectman Jamie Cosgrove, Parks Director Alex Palluzzi, and Public Works Director Gary Zielinski for all their help and for Bill, Laurie and Ryan Van Wilgen for taking out the old shrubs and donating the beautiful new plantings.

Bill O'Brien photoRyan Van Wilgen and associates of Van Wilgen’s Garden Center put in the new plants.

Photo courtesy of Branford Historical SocietyAfter World War II, the town erected a wooden Honor Roll around the flagpole, which was removed in 1955 according to Town Historian Jane Bouley, “because the upkeep was too great.”

Photo courtesy of Branford Historical SocietyIn 1965 architects Mangs and Pacelle designed the current surround of Stony Creek granite. The late George Nobile of Branford installed it.

The garden was originally designed by Bob Gregan, City of New Haven landscaper designer when Lee Bauerfeld was Civic Development chairman of the Branford Garden Club. The garden won the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut trophy for its design and its purpose of honoring veterans.

Bill O'Brien photoAccording to Holmes, “The long-standing tradition of planting in red, white, and blue has been maintained by Bill and Ryan Van Wilgen. They put forth a design refreshingly clean consisting of Red Roses, White Bo Bo Hydrangeas and Blue Juniper.”

Marybeth Ciarlelli added, “We hope the people of Branford enjoy the Green and continue to use it and that this parcel of ground continue to be respected and honored to all who gave so much for our freedom – our veterans.”

Bill O'Brien photoElliott Hastings, commander of the Branford VFW, and Donald Langlois, commander of the Branford American Legion Post, were invited to be part of the ceremony. “We are very pleased with the effort of the Garden Club to see this project to conclusion,” said Hastings. 

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