Blue Star Marker dedication ceremony scheduled Nov. 9

The Anna-Jo Garden Club and District VII, Garden Clubs of Illinois, GCI, invite the public to the dedication of a Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker which they recently placed at the northbound Trail of Tears Rest Area by I-57 at mile marker 32, 1 mile north of Route 146.  

An outdoor ceremony is planned at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, near the south side of the welcome center.  

Since seating is limited, those who plan to attend are advised to bring a lawn chair.  

Following the program, refreshments will be served inside the welcome center.

District VII, GCI, is part of Central Region of National Garden Clubs.  

The Trail of Tears marker which will be dedicated is the 11th Blue Star Marker in the district, which covers the lower 17 counties of Illinois.

The placement of Blue Star Markers began in 1946 as a cooperative effort of National Garden Clubs Inc., the Illinois Department of Transportation and their affiliates to honor all men and women who had served, were serving or would serve in the armed forces of the United States.  

The blue star in the marker is representative of the star in the service flag  also called the Blue Star Banner, which is displayed in the homes of a family of a person in service. The blue stands for hope and pride.

In addition to the Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker that is placed along highways and highway rest areas, there are memorial markers and byway markers.  

The memorial marker is similar to the highway marker, but is placed on the grounds of national cemeteries, Veterans Administration medical centers and other civic locations.  

The byway marker is mounted on a rock, masonry or wood and is located at parks and historical sites.

Former National Garden Club president Mrs. Clarence L. Henderson from Kentucky said, “Between wars we have a tendency to relax and forget, but while we sleep, our men and women in the service are flying our skies, sailing our seas and guarding our shores, ensuring our safety and helping to keep our country free.  Let’s let them know we care.”  

The placement and dedication of Blue Star Markers is a continuing tribute to the armed forces who have defended the United States.

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