Petit-Inspired Flower Adopted By State

June 30, 2015 by Special To The ...

The proposal establishing Michaela Petit’s Four O’Clock as the children’s state flower was signed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on June 19 in his office.

The bill was championed by several of Cheshire's Hartford delegation, most notably State Representative Al Adinolfi (R-103), who stated that the flower will honor the 11-year-old Cheshire home invasion victim and paves the way for future children to understand Michaela’s legacy.

“Signing this bill into law honors Michaela Petit’s life by establishing the state children’s flower, naming it after her and giving us all a way to remember her legacy,” Adinolfi said. “I know that I and my fellow residents of Cheshire are grateful that the tragedy that shook our community to its core has led to the creation of this positive symbol.”

“Naming a State Children’s Flower tells kids that they can have a voice and empowers them to go forward and help others,” said Dr. William Petit, Michaela’s father and founder of the Petit Family Foundation. “This gesture to honor a sweet little girl who was taken too soon is a simple way to honor her and inspire other children to participate and help others.”

The Petit Family Foundation chose the Four O’Clock, or Mirabilis jalapa, because it was the flower Michaela used to plant with her father. After the 2007 home invasion, the Four O’Clock could still be found on the property, despite the burned-down remains of the Petit homey. The foundation sells the seeds to fund a scholarship for girls.

Victoria Scott, the executive director of Michaela’s Garden Project, who was integral in organizing speakers and testimony for the public hearing, stated, “Michaela’s tenderness, kindness and passion to help others is best seen in the eyes of those who tend her seeds today,” she said. “They dwell in convalescent homes, hospitals, churches, schools and parks and have inspirational life of their own.”

Later in the summer, Rep. Adinolfi and the governor are expected to host a formal bill signing ceremony to honor Michaela and make the announcement official.