where i stand Will someone help save the Rose Garden at Rogers Park?
On the major holiday of July 4 this year the towns around the city of Danbury had parades and public festivities. Danbury had none.
The LL Bean Outdoor School members and Boy Scouts cleared veterans’ grave markers and fireworks were observed. Forgetting and neglecting veterans extends to the WW2 Memorial Rose Garden in Rogers Park. The Rogers Park pond area was beautified with $300,000. The million-dollar artificial turf soccer field is superb. Expensive renovations to the War Memorial building are well justified. Between these well-deserved enhancements sets the woefully neglected and forgotten WW2 Memorial Rose Garden.
The city uses this once beautiful setting to stage its organized, well-publicized celebrations on Memorial Day, Aug. 15 observation of the end of WW2 and Veterans Day. The day before these holidays, city workers appear, pick up cigarette butts and plastic trash, plant a few marigolds and roses and then disappear. Never to be seen again until the next holiday. (It is the company-is-coming, dust-off-and-vacuum syndrome.)
Meanwhile, the federal and state listed dangerous invasive plants from Asia and Europe pour into the garden to aggressively strangle and kill the rose plants. The city maintains and cares for beauty plants in Elmwood Park, the library, Main Street and around City Hall. They will not maintain plants in city memorials, citing budgetary constraint.
Only one person works in this garden. A Hans Brinker type, finger in the dike, trying to stem the tide of overwhelming, hostile takeover invasives. He is a feeble centenarian handicapper, the last Danbury veteran of WW2, still alive who has retained his status as a Danbury community and political activist for 45 years. The state of Connecticut is in such dire financial straits that they sold a driver’s license to this veteran that expires when he reaches age 103.
When this Vermonter and Connecticut Yankee lived for one year in 1941 India, the temperature often hit 100 degrees. In the afternoon the natives went indoors for a siesta. After the sun set and the fierce actinic rays subsided they came out and resumed the business of their life style.
This year July 4 in Danbury was so hot that I went native. When the wicked actinic rays disappeared below the horizon I grabbed my cane and emergency smart phone and drove my 1996 car one mile to Rogers Park. Two Dominicans offered to help this handicapped veteran of American Foreign Wars on this major holiday remembering when we won the American Revolution.
A group of concerned Danburians launched a crusade to replace the rose arbor trellises, fountain and statue that were destroyed in this rose garden by vandals during the Vietnam War and never replaced by the city. This beautiful Rose Garden was planted in 1946 by 100 dedicated Danbury women. Some were widows. That was the beginning of the highly regarded Danbury Garden Club. The fountain and cherub statue was not just functional, but artistically creative. We have searched for this sculpturer in vain.
Sadly, the once beds of roses have now become beds of aggressive invasive plans and vines and trees from Asia and Europe. Supporters of this community crusade are welcome.
C. Rodney Dow is a resident of Danbury.