Last week Jake and I returned from a three-day visit in Washington DC as part of a group effort donating time and resources to the beautification of sacred ground – Arlington National Cemetery. Yesterday we received a certificate of appreciation from PLANET (Professional Landcare Network), the sponsor for the Renewal and Remembrance project at Arlington. This opportunity was laid before me by my husband, Jake, a member of PLANET and a Regional Sales Manager for Jain USA, a worldwide leader in the manufacturer of quality drip irrigation products for the agricultural, turf, greenhouse, nursery, industrial and landscape markets. As you are aware there are two very important aspects of our business that we love to share with guests: our eco-friendly nature and our respect, admiration and tribute to our veterans and current members of our military service.
Immediately across from the inn’s reception desk one will find my father’s framed service medals earned during World War II as a gunner’s mate in the United States Navy and in a life-time career with the United States Air Force. On one side hangs a picture of my paternal grandfather who at age 16 enlisted in the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force and by age 17 had been wounded at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in France and on the other side will soon be a picture of my maternal grandfather who served with the First Newfoundland Regiment (later known as the Royal Newfoundland Regiment) and fought at Ypres (of In Flanders Field fame) in 1918. A grandchild shared a memory of the only time he could remember my grandfather speaking of the war. “Wave after wave of our men battled to capture the hill and finally it was ours. The very men who hours before were shooting at each other were now sharing cigarettes and pictures of family.” He remarked on the senselessness of war – one in which he lost his two best friends from childhood who had all enlisted together.