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Veterans' Trail a Garden Favorite

Joanne Winer

May 23rd, 2006

With Memorial Day coming up, Celiaís Rainbow Gardens would like to take this opportunity to thank the Veteransí Association and its members for all the hard work they have done over the past several years to make the Veteransí Trail such a beautiful part of the Gardens.

When I first got a call from them asking me if there was enough room in the Gardens for an area to remember their comrades, I suggested the area near the sundial that had been donated and placed at the top end of the Gardens.

I remember getting a call back from Margaret London saying they had gone out to look at the area and didnít think it was big enough for what they wanted to do.

She had thought that I meant the little mound around the sundial but I went out with them and showed them that they could have all the area they needed from the sundial back to the fitness trail. It was a much bigger area than she thought I meant.

Several members of the Veteransí Association then got together and started creating side trails and planting trees and cacti. There were several of their members that had passed away and they put in memorial trees and benches for them.

Some of the men dug trenches and put in water lines to all the trees they had planted. Many days were spent raking the rocks away to make little side trails and before you knew it, the area had blossomed into a wonderful memorial to their fallen comrades. They put up a wooden sign at the entrance to their trail and eventually added a brass plaque on a rock denoting their trail.

Elmer and Margaret London and their daughter, Carolyn Guthrie, adopted an area at the back end of the trail and added several trees, oleander hedge, cacti and bushes.

They fixed their area up with rocks lining the walkway and old shells they found in the desert. Elmer then built a miniature army post building and added his own special touch to their area. Several others added their own unique ideas and the trails soon took on a life of their own.

Since that time, the Veteransí Association spent many hours at the Gardens filling in their area and making it one of the most visited places in the Gardens. During Memorial Day and Veteransí Day, you will see little cans holding miniature flags on each memorial, placed there by another couple who have done it every year.

Even though the Veteransí Association has now disbanded due to low membership, they have still been coming out every week to water and keep the trails weeded and looking good.

We are sorry that they are no longer a going association, but thank them for all their hard work and efforts to keep this special area maintained. It is their dedication to this project that has made it such a wonderful place to remember their loved ones.