A flourish of red, white and blue at the veterans building

Sarah Gomer, a San Benito High School sophomore and a 4-H All-Star, plants red flowers outside the Veterans Memorial Building as part of an American Legion Auxiliary Unit 69 memorial to POW/MIA soldiers last Friday.

A flowerbed outside the Hollister Veterans Memorial Building got a makeover Friday when members of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 69 coordinated the planting of red, white and blue flowers with local 4-H members.

The flowers were planted on National POW/MIA Recognition Day last Friday in the flower bed under the flag pole.

Gene Henagin, a member of the American Legions in San Benito, pulled out the old bushes in the flowerbeds near the building. He started prepping the beds on Monday. Hollister Landscape donated the topsoil and bark. Henagin also installed sprinklers to make upkeep of the flowers easy.

“It’s a sad day in a way,” said Sandra Green, president of the America Legions Auxiliary Unit 69. “We have a lot of POW and MIA who have not come home. It goes all the way back to the Civil War.”

Green had members of Union 4-H and two 4-H All-Stars lead the small group gathered in the Pledge of Allegiance before she talked about the significance of the day.

“I was raised an Army brat and I know what it was like every time my father left,” Green said.

She described the frigid waters military members dealt with during the Korean War and the extreme humidity in the jungles of Vietnam.

“We are still actively trying to find POW/MIA,” she said.

The patriotic flowers will serve as a memorial for the year. When working on the flowerbed for the memorial, Henagin said there were enough supplies left over to redo the bed on the other side of the building as well so members of the VFW planned to redo that bed this week.

About half a dozen members of Union 4-H helped to put in the colorful plants with two 4-H All-Stars helping alongside them. The plants included ones with delicate white flowers, bright red flowers and some bluish-purple flowers, all meant to reflect the colors of the American flag.

The 4-H group will be working with the American Legion Auxiliary at the San Benito County Fair to share information about how to care for American flags.

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