Vet Gardens

A place for Veteran Gardeners and friends...

Buddy Galvin Memorial Butterfly Garden is being created at the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum, which is located at 4000 W Perimeter Rd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315 by the Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. The museum's web site is nasflmuseum.com.

 

This idea is the brainchild of a Veteran and Master Gardener, Brendan Doyle along with several other Veterans and other Veterans/Master Gardeners.  Mr. Doyle, who is also a Lifetime Museum member, has been spearheading this project for several months along with Mr. Michael Thomas and other Veterans who have dedicated much time and energy to this memorial garden.

 

The garden is designed in the shape of the Bermuda Triangle, with a concrete model of one of the missing Avenger Airplanes in the garden's center.  One corner of the triangle represents Bermuda, another corner is for Puerto Rico, and then tail end of the triangle is for South Florida.  Alexander Landscaping and Plant Farm, Inc. on Flamingo Road donated the three mature plants that highlight each area: a Seven Year Apple native to Bermuda, a Strongback from Puerto Rico, and a Bahama Senna, a native to South Florida.  The additional butterfly plants that were utilized are also found in those specified areas.

 

This site used to be a naval training base before the growth of the current airport.  There still are barracks on the premises and the museum contains numerous artifacts from past history.  This garden is to be a tribute to the memories of the fourteen crewmen from the five TBM Avenger airplanes who disappeared on December 5, 1945 and the Mariner rescue plane with thirteen aboard who also perished in their attempt to find the missing crewmen.  There is a concrete monument about a mile away from the museum and it is the hope of the museum’s members and supporters to find assistance from the community to have that monument and the surrounding pavers moved to be adjacent to the Butterfly Memorial Garden.  The monument has a plaque with the inscription of all of the missing aviators names along with an Avenger airplane’s propeller.

 

A ceremony was held on December 5th, 2015, which not only marked the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, but also the 70th anniversary of Flight 19's disappearance.  Flight 19 began the myth of the Bermuda Triangle, and is one of the great aviation mysteries.  The Memorial Ceremony is a public event celebrated on the grounds of the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum, which is on the National Register of Historic Places— and now a Florida Heritage Site.  After months of filling out countless forms and completing requirements with the Florida Division of Historical Resources and the Florida Department of State, the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum is now a Florida Heritage Site.  An historic marker was purchased with donations from members of the Association and the Museum.  It is a beautiful, solid metal, navy blue plaque, with white letters, detailing the history of the Link Trainer Building #8, which now houses the museum.

 

In addition to Brendan and other local Navy Veterans, nine crew members from the USS BATAAN who were in the area visiting on Thursday May 5, helped with getting the Butterfly Memorial Garden ready for planting.

With Veteran's Day just around the corner, it would be fitting for readers to be made aware of this important tribute to those missing airmen or just even to know the existence of the museum since many do not know it's even there.

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