Memorial Day Flowers 2016

CalFlowers is pleased to be an official sponsor of the 2016 Memorial Day Flowers (MDF) event.  There are a couple of important changes this year for MDF.  First, this special tribute to American service men and women, and their families, is that in addition to a large presence at Arlington National Cemetery outside of Washington, D.C., the Memorial Day Flower Foundation is also sponsoring floral tributes at six (6) other National Cemeteries around the country:

  • Arizona National Cemetery (in Phoenix, AZ)
  • San Francisco National Cemetery (in The Presidio of San Francisco)
  • Sacramento Valley National Cemetery (in Dixon, CA)
  • Fort Snelling National Cemetery (in Minneapolis, MN)
  • Houston National Cemetery (in Houston, TX)
  • Washington Crossing National Cemetery (in Newton, PA)

The second new feature this year is the presence of nearly 35,000 California stems included in the mix of Ecuadoran and Colombian roses placed on head stones.  The total quantity of flowers distributed at Arlington this Memorial Day weekend was greater than 130,000 stems.

Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) • Arlington, VA

CalFlowers' official representative this year at ANC was Board President, Mike Mooney (Dramm & Echter Farm), his wife Robin (Dos Gringos) and their three children Jenavee, Madeline, and Mike, Jr.  Because of the unexpected increase in demand for flowers this Memorial Day season – both because the growth of the event to seven additional National Cemeteries and a strong Mother's Day – about a week before the event it looked like the quantity of roses for ANC was going to be far below the need.  With only two-day's notice (one day for farms in the Monterey/Salinas areas), CalFlowers grower members shipped about 35,000 stems to ANC.  We thank the following growers for this incredible response:

A special thanks goes to Holland America for their donation of mixed bouquets, given to the volunteers to take home to enjoy, and to Ocean View for their donation of bouquets handed out to families supported by the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (T.A.P.S.) over the Memorial Day weekend. T.A.P.S. is a nonprofit organization that provides compassionate care to all those grieving the death of a loved one serving in the Armed Forces.

This year CalFlowers was officially represented by Board President, Mike Mooney, and his family.

Mike, his wife Robin, and their three children was active representatives at the Tragic Assistance Program for Survivors (T.A.P.S.) meeting near ANC passing out bouquets to survivors of family lost in armed conflict and unpacking 130,000 stems and distributing throughout the cemetery over Memorial Day weekend.  Mike said:  "Being a part of Memorial Day Flowers at Arlington National Cemetery was an extremely moving experience for Robin and me, and as parents we were full of pride at how engaged our children were as helpers and showing great compassion for families and visitors to the Cemetery.  We are proud to represent the CalFlowers membership - thank you for this opportunity."

 (Front row:  Mike, Jr., Jenavee, Madeline
Back row:  Mike & Robin)


(A couple of the 400 volunteers at ANC placing flowers at headstones)

Flower Gathering
by:  Robert Frost

I left you in the morning, 
And in the morning glow, 
You walked a way beside me 
To make me sad to go. 

Do you know me in the gloaming, 
Gaunt and dusty gray with roaming? 
Are you dumb because you know me not, 
Or dumb because you know? 

All for me And not a question 
For the faded flowers gay 
That could take me from beside you 
For the ages of a day? 

They are yours, and be the measure 
Of their worth for you to treasure, 
The measure of the little while 
That I've been long away. 


(Gerbera daisies on headstones at ANC - by: Thomas Jozefowicz)

Ah Sunflower
by:  William Blake

Ah Sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun; 
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller's journey is done; 

Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves, and aspire
Where my Sunflower wishes to go! 

(Sunflowers at headstones, through a tree at ANC - by: Thomas Jozefowicz) 

The Flower Of Liberty
by Oliver Wendell Holmes


WHAT flower is this that greets the morn,
Its hues from Heaven so freshly born?
With burning star and flaming band
It kindles all the sunset land:
Oh tell us what its name may be,--
Is this the Flower of Liberty? 

 It is the banner of the free,
The starry Flower of Liberty!

In savage Nature's far abode
Its tender seed our fathers sowed;
The storm-winds rocked its swelling bud,
Its opening leaves were streaked with blood,
Till lo! earth's tyrants shook to see
The full-blown Flower of Liberty! 

Then hail the banner of the free,
The starry Flower of Liberty!

Behold its streaming rays unite,
One mingling flood of braided light,--
The red that fires the Southern rose,
With spotless white from Northern snows,
And, spangled o'er its azure, see
The sister Stars of Liberty! 

Then hail the banner of the free,
The starry Flower of Liberty!

The blades of heroes fence it round,
Where'er it springs is holy ground;
From tower and dome its glories spread;
It waves where lonely sentries tread;
It makes the land as ocean free,
And plants an empire on the sea!

Then hail the banner of the free,
The starry Flower of Liberty!

Thy sacred leaves, fair Freedom's flower,
Shall ever float on dome and tower,
To all their heavenly colors true,
In blackening frost or crimson dew,--
And God love us as we love thee,
Thrice holy Flower of Liberty!

Then hail the banner of the free,

(Gerbera daisies on headstones at ANC - by: Thomas Jozefowicz) 

(Gerbera daisies on headstones at ANC - by: Thomas Jozefowicz)

(Volunteer with bunch of gerbera daisies at ANC)