The Michael C Rothberg
September 11th Memorial Scholarship
Sharon High School
May 27, 2002
Dogwood tree planted in celebration of Michael’s life
We are all familiar with the beauty and gracefulness of the dogwood tree and recognize its white flowers as a favorite sign of spring – of life.
But what most of us may not know – unless there are any botanists among us -- is that what appear to be the flowers of the dogwood tree are not really flowers at all. These “petals” are actually called “bracts,” which attract bees and other pollinators in nature’s cycle of life.
The dogwood’s true flowers are clustered at the center of these white bracts, rather inconspicuously. The real flowers of this tree are modest and unassuming.
Everyone was attracted to Michael’s charming good looks, his graciousness, his smile. All of us here today were lucky enough to know his center, to know that his real beauty – like the real flower of the dogwood tree – was inconspicuous and deeply nurturing.
So, as we cherish both the outer and inner beauty of this tree, we will watch it grow and nurture life each spring for many springs to come, and we will be reminded of Michael’s gifts to us: his courage, his generosity, his love for family, for friends, and for his flowers and trees - for all things beautiful and eternal.