Never Forget Garden to be planted by DAR

Staff Report

CHESTER — A “Never Forget Garden” is being developed by the Daughters of the Return Jonathan Meigs Chapter NSDAR.

Registrar/Ohio Society Librarian Opal Grueser recently presented a brief program about the 100th Anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to local DAR members. Grueser encouraged everyone to watch the program by the Society of the Honor Guard Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by Gavin McIlvenna of SHGTUS.

She reviewed how white roses were used to identify the casket selected to represent “The Unknown Soldier”.

In the program she explained that, today, we use all kinds of flowers in many situations. For example, we use flowers to celebrate happy times such as Mother’s Day, birthdays, weddings, and commemorate sad times such as flowers for the ill, death, and Memorial Day.

The Society of the Honor Guard tomb of the Unknown Soldier (SHGTUS) has issued a “nationwide invitation to all Americans and freedom loving people to plant gardens as a visual way to represent America’s unwavering commitment to our sacred duty to recognize, remember, and honor our veteran’s and their families now and for many years to come.”

With permission from the Meigs County Commissioners and the Chester-Shade Historical Association, the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution plan to develop a “Never Forger Garden” at the base of the Chester Academy hill, just along the sidewalk surrounding the CSHA sign.

Grueser reported that the chapter’s “Never Forget Garden” committee has begun planning. The plans are for a flower garden of sun-loving, drought tolerant perennials of mixed colors taken from the list of flowers from SHGTUS.

The flowers were selected due to their symbolism:

White rose, purity; purple viola, innocence; carnations, admiration and love; pink carnation, a mother’s love; daisy, hope and resistance; poppies, statice, rosemary and cornflower, remembrance; laurel, victory; rose of sharon (hibiscus), resilience; peonies, honor; primrose, eternal love; borage, courage; nasturtium, victory; gladiolus, honor and remembrance; river birch tree, hope; ginkgo, unity and hope; longevity oak, strength, wisdom and knowledge. Red-white-blue colors are utilized in ceremonies related to WWII and the Korean War Unknown Soldier.

There are other lists of desired plants, but the local group plans to use the SHGTUS suggestions. “

The chapter project will not be using much red, white or blue but leaning more towards pink, lavender, white, salmon and yellows. The SHGTUS feels that our patriotic colors are “best represented by the American Flag,” and we respect that,” Grueser commented.

Currently, the planning group is discussing the size and shape of the garden and plans to start small this year and grow it in the next couple of years. The chapter’s next planning meeting will be May 3, 2021, 11 a.m. at the site. In the meantime, members need to gather supplies such as soil enhancement, plants, preen, cedar mulch, and funds to purchase border material.

Grueser added, “We are striving to make a meaningful, beautiful garden that all can enjoy.” Donations will be gratefully accepted of any of the needed items, and members will do the work. Call Opal for further information or to arrange for a donation pick up at 740-992-3301, morning or evening. To watch the SHGTUS program, go to, search Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and scroll down to the video. You can also access the video directly by going to the SHGTUS site online.

Submitted by Opal Grueser.

Staff Report