The Flower Wreaths…
Every year I am commissioned to create wreaths of flowers for the various veteran, ceremonies including Pearl Harbor Day; oddly it is now a different kind of order. Flower remembrances for Pearl Harbor Day are traditionally tossed into a body of water, and somehow it seems people are aware of something amiss and requesting them to now be totally biodegradable. The new veteran ordering questioned me: “Why do we have to ASK for something non toxic-aren’t flowers & wreaths made of natural things from a florist?”
The 90%… Imported-Plastics-Foreign
For me, that is the best question anyone could ask even if it is a loaded one for sure. Between the wreath forms, the plastics, the acetate, the paint, and the foams-there is nothing natural at all, much less biodegradable for Pearl Harbor Day or any day. I ask you, what is the difference between poisoning our water or our soil, a landfill is one thing but a river is another? We need to take a care with them both. Nearly 90% of the flowers used at over 90% of florists and any flower outlet are imported with probably a 90% chance they are delivered in an import vehicle-which to me, is not a nice way to honor any veteran much less those lost at Pearl Harbor.
I get it-it’s so easy to make a wreath using all the ‘innovative’ and manufactured, flower mechanics of today. It’s more expensive, but it’s quick and it requires little thought or creativity. And it supports the global economy-which of course…..is more important than our own. The wreaths I made for these ceremonies started with a vine, 2 branches, and an idea-the traditional way. The greens and flowers are layered, tied, proudly grown in the US, and a US made ribbon. The patriotic picture we aspire to paint with all our little American flags made in China, and veterans remembrance flowers imported from Columbia; in my thoughts does nothing to honor any veteran or ourselves.
Remembering Pearl Harbor Day
My Mother has a faded photo of a skinny, 18 yr old kid who I remember had the softest voice and disposition and seemed anything but soldier material; her older brother. My grandmother had a silk scarf he sent her from his tour in Japan that always fascinated me as a child. He was one of the lucky ones who did not perish then, but over 2400 did at Pearl Harbor in 1941. A day, FDR rewrote his speech to say “this date will go down in infamy”
Maybe today, a fitting honor would be to take the time to find just 1 local/American made item and buy it-instead of an imported. Even the course of a mighty river is changed when it bends and every little change adds up to a big one. As the veteran was leaving he turned and said, “thank you for what you are doing here, the guys we are honoring would be proud of you, and so am I.”
I was grateful and proud, and it made my day.