The Queen City Garden Club and the Sedalia Parks and Recreation Department held a dedication ceremony Saturday morning, June 8 for the new Blue Star Marker at State Fair Boulevard and West Highway 50.
Taking part in the 15-minute ceremony were Donna Freese, Ruth Stratman and Cynthia Broderson, Queen City Garden Club members, Joan Bowen, West Central District director, Mark Hewitt, Sedalia Parks and Rec director; Senior Girl Scout Troop 30702, members of the 40 & 8, and Rev. Chad McMullin. Trumpeter and 2012 S-C graduate Richard Barnier played the 24-note Taps to help conclude the installation ceremony, which was followed by a reception at First Christian Church.
Sedalia Parks and Rec provided the site for the marker, after the first one, located at the roadside park on Highway 50 near Dresden, was vandalized and stolen.
The Queen City Garden Club is part of the Federated Garden Clubs of Missouri. National Garden Week was June 2-8.
About the Blue Star Memorial program:
The Blue Star Memorial Program honors service men and women. This program began with the planting of 8,000 Dogwood trees by the New Jersey Council of Garden Clubs in 1944 as a living memorial to veterans of World War II. In 1945, the National Council of State Garden Clubs adopted the program and began a Blue Star Highway system, which covers thousands of miles across the Continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii. A large metal Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker was placed at appropriate locations along the way.
The program was expanded to include all men and women who had served, were serving or would serve in the armed services of the United States. Memorial Markers and By-Way markers were added to the Highway Markers, to be used at locations such as National cemeteries, parks, veteran’s facilities and gardens.
The Blue Star became an icon in World War II and was seen on flags and banners in homes for sons and daughters away at war, as well as in churches and businesses. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.