HARTLAND — In honor of her brother who was killed in the Korean War in 1953, Hartland Home and Garden Club member Marilyn Scherler has been maintaining the Blue Star Memorial in Hartland Cemetery for more than a decade.
"I do it for him and the community and the club," Scherler said.
Scherler, who has been a member of the club since 1990, has been joined by fellow member Twyla Green in maintaining the memorial, which was dedicated in 2004.
Green, a member of the club since 1998, estimates she's been helping maintain the memorial for more than 10 years alongside Scherler.
"I like flowers, so it's nice to see more flowers in the cemetery and flowers make people happy, so the more flowers the better in the cemetery and to honor veterans," Green said.
The duo work together, planting red-and-white begonias, as well as different blue flowers to create a floral flag.
"I've been interested in gardening ever since I was a little girl and I have a garden at home. I have a lot of flowers," Scherler said.
Scherler's brother, Franklin Hoffman, was a member of the U.S. Army when he died in the Korean War.
"The sacrifice that the military has made for us over the years … and that was her way of remembering her brother's memory and that really touched me," club President Judy Knitter said.
In addition to taking on the Blue Star garden, Scherler also has helped maintain the Hartland Veterans Memorial for more than 25 years. The memorial is located next to the Blue Star Memorial.
“It’s people like Marilyn who do the job because it needs to be done and don't ask for fanfare and are always dependable who you never have to think, 'Oh, I wonder if this is getting done or not,'" Knitter said. "Those are the people that, to me, are just the backbones of our society and they need to get recognized."
Hartland Home and Garden Club
The Hartland Home and Garden club was established 38 years ago.
Today the group maintains the Cromaine Library garden, the cemetery garden dedicated to the veterans, a 100-square-foot garden in Howell and planters in front of the fire department, among other things.
“We’re totally community based,” Knitter said.
History of the Blue Star Memorial
The Blue Star Memorial program was established by the National Garden Club in 1945 to pay tribute to the Armed Forced that defended the country during World War II.
According to Michigan Garden Clubs, memorials are based on the original blue star flag displayed in family homes. The star became a standard symbol on dedicated Blue Star Highways throughout the United States.
Today the Blue Star Memorial program has expanded to include highways, parks, veterans’ facilities, national cemeteries and historic/civic sites.
Additionally, a Gold Star Memorial marker was added to the national program in 2015, to honor service members who have lost their lives defending our country.
Across Livingston County, Blue Star memorials can be found in Brighton (dedicated in 2008), Hartland (2004), Howell (2013) and Pinckney (2009) to honor those who have served.
Memorial Day Observances
This year's Livingston County Memorial Day events are set to include the following:
At 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 29, there will be a Hartland Cemetery Walk & Evening to Remember and Honor, at 3697 Avon St.
From 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Monday, May 30, there will be a band boosters pancake breakfast at Village Elementary School.
At 8 a.m. Hartland High School, located at 10635 Dunham Road, will host a 5k run/walk and a 3k walk. The cost to participate in the 5k is $30 and $20 for the 3k walk until May 29.
There will be a flyover at 11:30 a.m. and a moment of silence at noon.
Also at noon, for the 87th year, there will be a parade, starting at Ore Creek Middle School and ending at Village Elementary School.
The American Legion Devereaux Post 141 Memorial Day Parade will be at 10 a.m. Monday, May 30. The parade route begins at the Howell Carnegie Library, proceeds down Grand River and ends at Lakeview Cemetery.
There will be a Memorial Day Car Show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, May 30, at 2300 E. Grand River. There will be a DJ, door prizes and a 50/50 raffle, hosted by The Street Knights Car Club. The show is free, but it costs $20 to bring a motorcycle or car. For more information, contact Glenn at 517-672-9058.
There will be a Memorial Day parade at 10 a.m. starting at Brighton High School, located at 7878 Brighton Road, to the Mill Pond.
Following the parade, there will be several speakers at the AMP and a wreath laying at the Brighton Veterans Memorial.
The Fowlerville Memorial Day Parade begins at 10 a.m. Monday, May 30, at VFW Post 6464, located at 215 Veterans Drive. The parade will pass through downtown and end at Greenwood Cemetery, where a short service will be conducted.
The Hamburg Memorial Day Parade is at 10 a.m. Monday, May 30. The starting point is in the village, near the intersection of Stone Street and Hamburg Road. The parade ends at Strawberry Lake Road Cemetery.
At 1 p.m. Monday, May 30, there will be a parade starting at Pearl and Hamburg Streets, traveling south on Pearl Street before turning west on M-36/Main Street and ending with a ceremony at the township square.
A memorial will follow at the Pinckney cemetery.
Contact Livingston Daily reporter Patricia Alvord at email@example.com about news coverage.
This article originally appeared on Livingston Daily: Memorial Day events, memorials slated this weekend in Livingston County