(Video above: ABC 33/40
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Norton’s Florist decided to celebrate Veterans Day a little early this year, delivering 100 red “Freedom Roses” to the patients and staff at Birmingham’s Veterans Affairs hospital to thank them for their service.
Gus Pappas, who considers giving away flowers the best part of his job, told ABC 33/40 he wants to acknowledge just how appreciative he is of the work the veterans and those medical staff who help care of them have done in service for the country.
“It’s the smile. If you go up there tonight or today and take a look at these veterans, patients you’ll see a big smile when they see those flowers,” said Pappas.
The florist said one reason he chose to deliver the flowers was because of all the negative attention the VA system has received in light of the more than year-long scandal which rocked the nation’s veterans last year.
While the whole nation will celebrate and commemorate Veterans Day Wednesday, Tuesday is actually a particularly special day for the U.S. Marine Corps, which celebrates its 240th birthday on November 10th.
For one Marine battling liver cancer at the Birmingham VA, Pappas’s thoughtful gesture meant the world.
“I though It’s pretty awesome that somebody acknowledge(s) Marines out here and coming to the hospital, taking time out of their day to acknowledge us,” said Marine Corps veteran James Mannis. “They didn’t have to.”
The “Freedom Roses” Pappas passed out Tuesday are a type of red roses bred in Ecuador. The florist said that the stunning, crimson blooms are his most popular brand.
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— Elizabeth BeShears (@LizEBeesh) January 21, 2015