Volunteers and anonymous donor helps rebuild vandalized veteran' - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Volunteers and anonymous donor helps rebuild vandalized veteran's memorial

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RICHLAND, WA. -- We have an update that we're happy to bring you. Last week, we told you about some vandals who ripped up the plants at the Purple Heart Memorial in Richland.

A lot has changed since then. Over the weekend, a team of volunteers from Beaver Bark Gift and Garden Center replanted a bunch of purple plants. But that wasn't all, an anonymous donor did even more to put this memorial back to the way it used to be. 

If you didn't know, you'd probably have no idea that this veteran's memorial was vandalized just last week. Once employees at Beaver Bark Gift and Garden Center in Richland saw what people did to Ernie Crediford's hard work, they knew they had to help out. 

"We just wanted to be a part of making this right," Kelly Blair from Beaver Bark said. "It was not right what happened here."

Together, Beaver Bark employees and Ernie got together this weekend and replanted some beautiful purple May Night Salvia. A couple days later, Ernie also discovered that an anonymous donor had planted even more plants! Bringing this purple heart back to life. 

"Oh its just a warm feeling," Ernie Crediford said. "It's hard to put words to it. It's overwhelmingly wonderful."

Acts like this, truly show the heart of a community.

"I'm so happy Beaver Bark stepped up and did this for you Ernie," one of Ernie's friends said as she gave him a hug.

Not only has the color of the heart returned, but you could say it's even better than it was before. 

"With this, we can have a living blooming heart all summer long and we just have to keep it watered," Ernie said. 

That won't be a problem as long as veteran's like Bud Cleavenger are around. He heard the story of the heart and came down to give it some TLC. 

"I thought that was pretty neat though that they came here and replaced it all," Bud said.

Now Ernie's dreams for the memorial can continue to grow. 

"It's amazing that so much goodness came out of something so tragic," Ernie said.

All thanks to the Tri-Cities community that's here to help mend a broken heart. 

Ernie says he hopes the Native Plant Society can put in a bench or a sign at the Purple Heart Memorial to make it even more of a destination for people. 

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