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Great Falls Flower Growers: A Memorial Day Tradition

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Posted at 9:36 AM, May 24, 2024

GREAT FALLS — In preparation for Memorial Day, the Great Falls Flower Growers Club has continued its heartfelt tradition of planting flowers to honor those who have served in the military. This year, as in many years past, the club has adorned the local memorial with vibrant red, white, and blue petunias.

The Great Falls Flower Growers Club, established in 1909, has a rich history of community involvement and dedication. Thanks to the generous donations from residents and businesses, the club returns annually to ensure the memorial remains a beautiful and respectful tribute.

Falia Fundis, a member of the Great Falls Flower Growers, explained the contributions that make this project possible. "The Flower Farm donates 36 petunias for the planters, red, white, and blue, and then we purchase 120 petunias for the bed on the ground. Home Depot donates to us like $100 worth of products every year. When we first started this project, we worked on a very, very small budget, and we finally realized that the flower that survives up here in the wind and the sun and the different conditions are the petunias."

The club's commitment to maintaining the flower garden is unwavering and set to continue well into the future.

Leanna Blankenship, another dedicated member of the Great Falls Flower Growers, shared her resolve to keep the tradition alive. "When Gayla said she was retiring, I put my hand up and said, I'll surely take that over. That's something that I can do."

The purpose of the memorial, as Blankenship highlighted, is simple yet profound. "It's for anybody that has served, living or passed." For many members, including Galia Fundis, the project is deeply personal. "This is actually a labor of love because many, many of us have stones on the wall of loved ones."

Blankenship emphasized the year-round beauty of the memorial site. "This place is beautiful in all different seasons. Some of the flowers and the trees will turn red. So it's not just a thing to come see on Memorial Day. You should come visit at different seasons."

With the memorial now cleaned up and adorned with fresh flowers, the Great Falls Flower Growers invite everyone to visit and pay their respects to our service members.

Since it opened in 2006, the Montana Veterans Memorial has placed more than 7,400 tiles honoring Montana veterans, both living and deceased. About 200 new tiles are added every year before Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

The Montana Veterans Memorial is at 1025 25th Street North in Great Falls.

For more information, or if you would like to honor a veteran, click here to visit the website, or call 406-454-9070.

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