Susan Massa, local resident and real estate broker associate of Keller Williams, along with Craig Gibson, supervisor of the Westfield Department of Public Works, created a beautiful autumn look of white and yellow mums this week for the fall festivities in Westfield and Veterans Day Nov. 11, 2019, honoring all Veterans.

The chrysanthemum, or the so-called “golden flower,” is one of the most beautiful plants and possesses the power to attract happy circumstances into our lives. It is a symbol of autumn, simplicity and ease of life.

Chrysanthemum flower got its name from the Greek words chrysos, which means gold, and anthemon, meaning flower. These two words combined meant a flower of gold or gold flower, and the name itself was the perfect representation of the beauty and value of this flower and perfect for the World War I Memorial.

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Though it is originally a golden yellow color, today there are thousands of different types and colors in the world that naturally have their meaning. Thus, the white mum is the symbol of purity spirituality and truth, clarity of thought; red is a sign of love and accentuated passion; purple symbolizes decency and nobility; blue carries with it calmness and inspiration, orange is a sign of progress and warmth; while yellow symbolizes happiness and joy as well a solemn remembrance.

The Triangle of Monuments Plaza, a focal point to the town of  Westfield, is cared for by Craig Gibson and diligently tended by his team from DPW: Vinny Brodo, Rock Steward, Lorenzo Scipioni, John Giordano Jr. and Jerry Guarino, and is possible due to the support of Administrator Mr. Jim Gildea and the Westfield Council allowing the freedom to be creative.

Chrysanthemum flower has several important meanings: Lasting friendship, true friendship, God energy and optimism, rebirth, enduring life, loyalty, devotion, love.

From all of the above it is not difficult understand that chrysanthemums are one of the most powerful, and certainly the most beautiful symbols of optimism and caring life. The mum also has a secret message telling you to never give up on your dream, be kind and bring joy to others, have courage be happy and grateful no matter what and honor those before us on Nov. 11, 2019.

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

That’s when the armistice ending World War I began in 1918, and that is the origin of Veterans Day, a U.S. holiday often confused with Memorial Day. Memorial Day honors America’s war dead, while Veterans Day honors all American veterans, living and dead, and has a special emphasis on thanking living veterans for their service to the country.

In November 1919, one year after the armistice ending World War I President Woodrow Wilson declared Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words:

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.” 

In 1938, Congress made Nov. 11 an annual, legal holiday known as Armistice Day to honor the cause of world peace, but it was primarily used to honor World War I veterans. After World War II, in 1954, the law was changed, and “Armistice” was changed to “Veterans.” Nov. 11 became a day to honor veterans of all-American wars.

I’m proud to be a Westfield resident.