We Give, Because They Gave
Abraham Lincoln called it "the last full measure of devotion". He said this in the Gettysburg Address and was referring to a soldier giving his life for his country. It was in respect of his words that Allentuck Landscaping Co. took part in Renewal and Remembrance at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) this week, an annual event sponsored by The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) in which 450 landscape contractors from all across the country come to Washington, at their own expense, to spend a day of service caring for America's most hallowed piece of ground.
I had a unique perspective on the day as I have the honor of being the event's chairman. This was Allentuck Landscaping Co.'s seventh year volunteering, and this year we were represented well by eleven members of our staff and families. It was a typical hot and humid Washington day, but that did not deter anyone on our eager team.
The day started with an opening ceremony complete with full color guard. I had the privilege of welcoming everyone to our town. ANC Executive Director Hallinan spoke of the meaning of Arlington and what our work meant to the cemetery and the families that visit there. Finally, we heard from Bob Brophy, owner of one of our equipment vendor companies and a Vietnam Veteran. He spoke of his time in service, the friends that he lost, and a deeper meaning of the day ahead of us. It was an inspiring start.
In all, our volunteers limed and aerated massive acreage of turf, installed lightning protect and support cables in trees, upgraded irrigation systems, and planted two gardens to protect drainage swales. Suppliers donated three tractor trailers of lime and dozens of pieces of equipment. While we worked, young children of our volunteers enjoyed tours of the facility, a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unkowns, and got to plant tree saplings and ornamental grasses. We completed close to $250,000 worth of work in one morning! To say I am proud of my staff, our peers and our industry would be an understatement.
It only seems appropriate to say thank you to you, our customers, for allowing us to be a successful business and to have the opportunity to take part in meaningful service such as this. Thank you.