A year ago, Virginia and Charles Krieger unexpectedly lost their son, Tom, to a brain tumor. A professional photographer, Tom Krieger wasonly 40.
Last Friday, in the quiet of Overlook Park with the warmautumn sun on their faces, the Kriegers took comfort in leaving a visible reminder of their son that will last a long time, even after they are gone.
The reminder is a tree, a maple. It was one of 19 saplings -- 17 maples and two flowering dogwood -- planted in Overlook Park Friday by Linthicum residents in memory of lost loved ones or in honor of loved ones still living.
"I felt it was a good gesture, to at least have him remembered," said Virginia Krieger.
Victor Rigatuso's brother, Petro, has been paralyzed for the last three years with GuillianBarre disease, which is similar to polio. Victor says he and his brother, 71, have always been close. He wanted to do something special for him, so he planted a tree for him.
"He's a little bit flusteredabout it. It's the best I can do for him now," Victor Rigatuso said.
Helen DelBrocco, vice president of the North Linthicum Improvement Association, has been wanting more trees in the park for years, "but I never got around to it."
Then, a few months ago, the Department of Natural Resources came to one of the association's meetings and talked about its Tree-mendous Maryland tree-planting program. "It started from that, and just sort of grew," DelBrocco said.
DelBrocco now has a tree in her name, donated by her daughter, Sgt. 1st Class Judith Maze, who is stationed in Florida. Maze also had a tree plantedfor her father, Chief Warrant Officer Jesse A. Wall, who died in 1955.
DelBrocco's youngest son, Arthur Wall of Richmond, Va., honoredhis stepfather, Joseph DelBrocco, with a tree. Joseph DelBrocco celebrated his 91st birthday Nov. 11.
The donors paid $12 each for their trees, supplied through the Tree-mendous program. County parks andrecreation workers planted and mulched the saplings.
Joe Marsiglia, a former president of the North Linthicum Improvement Association,was happy to see how expertly the trees were planted. Some association members tried to plant trees last year, "but they all died. We didn't know what to do. These have mulch on them and they're all tied."
Marsiglia donated one of the trees in honor of his wife, Doris, who died 22 months ago.
Wally Orlinsky, DNR's director of Tree-mendous Maryland, said 3 million trees have been planted throughout the state during the last two yearsthrough the program. Most of trees have been seedlings, he said. Another large portion has been part of public open space plantings. About 3,500 have been donated in honor of loved ones.
"It's amazing how many of these things we do," Orlinsky said. "People love it."