Students may plant daffodils on the May 4 Memorial today

Rachel Rathjens

The history of Kent State’s campus will be replenished today when students plant 3,000 daffodil bulbs by the May 4th Memorial.

The event, held by Heather White, grounds manager of Campus Environment and Operations, will allow any student who wants to help replant the withering daffodils on the wooded hill by the memorial, located next to Taylor Hall, today from noon to 4 p.m.

Kent State artist Brinsley Tyrrell came up with the idea of the symbolic planting of flowers at the memorial. The 58,175 daffodil bulbs currently on the hill represent the number of United States soldiers lost during the Vietnam War.

English professor Laura Davis said the memorial was dedicated in 1990 on the 20th anniversary of the tragic May 4th event. The flowers were planted after the construction of the memorial.

White said the shovels and latex gloves, 3,000 daffodil bulbs, were purchased by CEO and cost less than $1,500.

Ricardo Newell, a graduate student from the Center for Student Involvement, explained that his role in the event was to invite students to be involved in the planting process.

“We have invited all 27 fraternities and sororities,” said Newell. “As well as other student organizations to the planting.”

Davis explained that this event is a great way for students to be involved on campus and in Kent State’s history.

“Students are involved in an act of remembrance of the soldiers who served in the Vietnam War,” Davis said. “Students help to honor the memory of those students who died here on May 4th.”

Newell said students will be doing something for a good cause and will help build a community.

“I think this event will help students feel more connected to the University and the war memorial,” Newell said. “We are also trying to build a more viable community amongst the Greeks.”

Davis explained that students are doing a great thing for the memorial because next year is the 40th anniversary of May 4th and the flowers will look refreshed for the commemoration.

“Replenishing all of the daffodils on the hill has been identified as a gift-giving opportunity,” Davis said. “The daffodils are a part of the May 4th 40th commemoration.”

White explained that if the event is successful, it will be repeated next year. She said that hopefully all of the bulbs will be planted in the amount of time they have so that CEO doesn’t have to plant what is left.

“If anyone wants to come and pick up a shovel, I would not mind,” said White. “I will not turn anyone away that wants to help.”

Contact buildings, grounds and transportation reporter Rachel Rathjens at [email protected].