The newly dedicated Perpetual Memory Garden at the Manassas Senior Center has polished, gray, granite benches, a small rock garden and pavers forming a circular patio.
During a recent ceremony, the garden was dedicated in the memory of Will Bennett, a longtime member of the Manassas Senior Center, who also represented the Brentsville District on the Prince William Area Commission on Aging for more than 10 years.
The Prince William Area Agency on Aging Director, Sarah Henry, said the improvements to the garden, which was first dedicated in 1998, were made possible through a partnership between the Friends of the Manassas Senior Center, Cornerstone Landscaping, Inc., Keep Prince William Beautiful and the Manassas Senior Center. "We knew that we wanted to … enhance our memory garden, and now we're here dedicating a perpetual memory garden in the name of Will Bennett."
Brentsville District Supervisor Jeanine Lawson spoke at the ceremony and said that Bennett, who first conceived of the memory garden, loved the senior center and wanted the best for its members. "I know that he was a big advocate for the senior center, so I think it's appropriate that we honor him today with the dedication of the memory garden in his name."
Len Postman, president of the Friends of the Manassas Senior Center, said she thought that Bennett would have liked the garden. "I think that he would be very well pleased that it's turned out like it has. I think it turned out very nice here."
Ben Bennett, Willard Bennett's son also spoke at the ceremony. "There's really no words to describe how honored he would have felt," Bennett told the crowd of city and county officials, along with senior center and community members. "What you did here is absolutely fantastic. He would be proud and honored. I just want to tell you thank you."
The Perpetual Memory Garden is located just behind the Manassas Senior Center where senior center members can go to reflect or just sit and enjoy the outdoors.