HARTLAND – In honor of her brother, who was killed in the 1953 Korean War, Hartland Home and Garden Club member Marilyn Scherler has maintained the Blue Star Memorial in Hartland Cemetery for more than a decade.
“I do it for him and the community and the club,” said Scherler.
Scherler, who has been a member of the club since 1990, is being joined by fellow member Twyla Green to preserve the memorial, which was dedicated in 2004.
Green, a club member since 1998, estimates that she has been helping to preserve the memorial alongside Scherler for more than 10 years.
“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 along with assorted blue flowers to create a floral flag.
“I’ve been interested in gardening since I was a little girl and I have a garden at home. I have a lot of flowers,” said Scherler.
Scherler’s brother Franklin Hoffman was a member of the US 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,” said club president Judy Knitter.
In addition to inheriting the Blue Star Garden, Scherler has also helped preserve 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 get the job done because it needs to be done and who don’t ask for fanfare and are always reliable so you never have to be like, ‘Oh, I wonder if this gets done or not'” , Knitter said, “These are the people who, for me, are just the backbone of our society and who need to be recognized.”
Hartland Home and Garden Club
The Hartland Home and Garden Club was founded 38 years ago.
Today the group maintains the Cromaine Library garden, the cemetery garden dedicated to veterans, a 100 square meter garden in Howell and planters in front of the fire station, among other things.
“We’re completely 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 forces 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 soldiers who lost their lives defending our country.
Throughout Livingston County, Blue Star memorials are located in Brighton (dedicated 2008), Hartland (2004), Howell (2013) and Pinckney (2009) to honor those who served.
Memorial Day celebrations
This year’s Livingston County Memorial Day events include:
- A Hartland Cemetery Walk & Evening to Remember and Honor will be held at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 29 at 3697 Avon St.
- From 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Monday, May 30, there will be a Band Booster Pancake Breakfast at Village Elementary School.
- At 8:00 am there will be a 5k run/walk and 3k walk at Hartland High School, 10635 Dunham Road. The cost to enter the 5K is $30 through May 29 and $20 for the 3K.
- There will be a transfer at 11:30 am and a minute’s silence at noon.
- Also at noon, there will be an 87th year parade beginning at Ore Creek Middle School and ending at Village Elementary School.
- The American Legion Devereaux Post 141 Memorial Day Parade will take place on Monday, May 30 at 10 a.m. The parade route begins at the Howell Carnegie Library, continues down the Grand River and ends at Lakeview Cemetery.
- There will be a Memorial Day Car Show on Monday, May 30 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm 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 10am starting at Brighton High School, 7878 Brighton Road to Mill Pond.
- After the parade there will be several speakers at the AMP and a wreath will be laid at the Brighton Veterans Memorial.
- The Fowlerville Memorial Day Parade begins Monday, May 30 at 10 a.m. at 6464 VFW Post at 215 Veterans Drive. The parade passes through downtown and ends at Greenwood Cemetery, where a short service is held.
- The parade for the Hamburg National Day of Mourning will take place on Monday, May 30, at 10 a.m. The starting point is in the village, near the Steinstrasse/Hamburger Strasse intersection. The parade ends at Strawberry Lake Road Cemetery.
- There will be a parade on Monday, May 30 at 1:00 p.m., beginning at Pearl Street and Hamburg Street, and proceeding south on Pearl Street before turning west on M-36/Main Street and ends with a ceremony in Township Square.
- A memorial will follow at Pinckney Cemetery.
Contact Livingston Daily reporter Patricia Alvord at email@example.com for coverage.