Fenton the Beautiful Part III

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January 2013       Issue 2.6

One Soldier’s Pride

Memorial Daffodils 

You might think it’s too early to think about spring, especially if you love the snow, love to snowboard, love to snowmobile, love to snow shovel and all that fun stuff! Or, you might be craving warm weather and sunshine. One merchant’s store signs reads, “Only 10 more weeks until SPRING!”

Picture the daffodils in their splendid yellow, breaking out next spring as one of the first flowers to usher in warm breezes and sunny skies!

Fenton has a monument – sometimes referred to as the Veteran’s Memorial. The inscription reads, Our Soldiers and Sailors. You can find it at Oakwood Cemetery, located at the end of Davis Street just south of Shiawassee Avenue. The first year the yellow daffodils surrounded the memorial to our soldiers and sailors they told of the still reverent respect hometown Fenton has for its ancestors, especially the ones that fought to keep her free!

Cherie Smith, chairperson of the Fenton Beautification Commission remembers well the soldier she met that fall when she planted 1200 daffodil bulbs around the monument. Down on her knees in the dirt with hands, arms and part of her face covered in soil, she carefully planned the arrangement of those beautiful, spring flowers, yellow like the sun. Filthy, but loving every minute of it, she was enjoying the cool but quite sunny weather. After a while, since the weather was so fine, a very fit young man in shorts and a tee shirt came jogging by. Cherie offered, “Nice day for a jog.” The young man responded, “Yes mam, it is!” Cherie, enjoying his warm yet very respectful manner, kindly offered again, “I sure am grateful for one more nice Sunday to get these bulbs in the ground.” He said, “Yes mam, you sure lucked out with this weather.” Because of his respectful nature, she asked if he was possibly part of our military. He turned out to be in the Marine Corp and he was home on leave visiting his parents and family who lived only a few blocks away.

Cherie reflects, “That handsome kid, with such a sunny look about him, really touched my heart.” She felt pride in this native son, estimating him to be about 26 – 30 years of age. He had grown up right here and graduated from Fenton High School. She decided he was the exact replica of every mother’s perfect son! And she thought, “I hope your Mom is as proud of you as I am right now.”

While they chatted, Cherie learned that he was stationed in California at Camp Pendleton. He had been visiting his favorite sights around town like the gazebo and park and he remarked on all of the beautiful flowers he was enjoying. He wanted to tell her that so many of his friends thought California was so beautiful, but they had never seen the beauty of Michigan. He also wanted her to know how much he loved his hometown of Fenton, how proud he was of it and how much he looked forward to coming home. Then he expressed how much he wished his soldier friends could experience small town living like he had growing up in his beautiful little City of Fenton.

Cherie summarizes, “When a hometown boy stops to express his appreciation for the small amount of beauty we add to this little spot at home, it warms the heart – soothes the aches, makes everything better than it was before. You could be covered in dirt from head to toe. It is all worth it!”

The Beautification Commission has an interest in adding many more people, with a love for their hometown and nature, to the group. They would also like to encourage younger people to think about contributing to their community. Please call Cherie’ at 810-750-1708 for more information.

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