On Friday, August 3rd, at 1 pm, the Veterans Home and Hospital Healing Garden in Rocky Hill will be officially dedicated, in a ceremony and celebration being organized by the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs, with input from CTPA. It has been a long and winding road, but under the leadership of Bud Neal and through the design skills of Sandy Ingellis, along with the funding efforts of many individuals and groups, the crucial donation of specific items such as the trees, the walkway, the fence and the benches, the many hours of sweat and labor given by many dedicated and willing conscripts to the cause, and the support of the veterans themselves – the Healing Garden is ready for its close-up and its prime time debut.
The Garden is already becoming integrated into the activities around the Home and Hospital, as the walkway has become a site for physical therapy and a place to get outside, shoot the breeze and just enjoy the view. In some ways, it already had its own, informal dedication when the flagpole was installed on the afternoon of July 12th. With Sandy and her husband and friend helping out in the 4 gardens that compose the Healing Garden, with Cathy Dvorsky and the Dvorsky children there to lend their support, and with Bud overseeing it all, a crew from Distinctive Tree Care used their bucket truck to lift the flagpole and guide it into its holder. Nick from Husqvarna, who just happened to stop by to drop off a raffle prize for the upcoming Summer Meeting, also got drawn into the action, as he soon found himself helping to drive wedges to ensure that the flagpole was set perfectly vertical. That’s the way things happen with a project like this – what’s starts as labor soon starts to feel like a gift, and soon enough even more, as one gets caught up in the spirit and common cause of the moment. It is good to look back on the work that has been done.
August 3rd will be a day for a certain amount of formalities, for thank yous and for generosity, all well earned. CTPA members, under whose banner this effort is soon to be completed, are all welcome and invited to attend. Those who have donated to this effort might like to stop by, on August 3rd or some other time, to see how well it is all turning out.
As for the flagpole, as soon as it was raised, straightened and rigged with the ropes needed, Bud called one of the veterans over to officially raise the flag for the first time. Soon, the whole Garden space will be turned over to the veterans, to use and enjoy as they will. For them, and at that time, dedication will be the right word. Not just for what we have helped create for them. Much more so, for what they showed themselves, that makes this small gift so worth giving.