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Blue Star Memorial dedication Sunday

Scott Seitz • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:19 PM

Past and present military personnel will be honored Sunday at Veterans Memorial Park in Norwalk.

The Town and Country Garden Club of Norwalk will hold the dedication of the Blue Star Memorial at the 2 p.m. event. The park is located on Shady Lane Drive.

The Blue Star Memorial program was started in 1944 by the National Garden Clubs, Inc. The blue star is taken from the service flag. This was chosen to symbolize the memorial because it was used during World War II on flags and in windows of homes of the families that had a son or daughter in the service.

The Town and Country Garden Club chose this as the project for this year.

Sunday's program will feature a welcome by garden club member Martha Shample, who spearheaded the project.

The program also will include the official unveiling and dedication of the marker, as well as a military tribute, salute to the armed forces, tribute of flowers and the playing of "Taps."

The presentation of colors, Pledge of Allegiance, national anthem, an invocation, greetings from the Garden Club of Ohio and a history of the Blue Star Memorial markers will also take place Sunday.

Shample talked about the meaning of Sunday's program.

"The garden club is mostly women and the program is about the fact that women think of their children at all times, especially when they go to war," she said. "Many people give up two, four or six years of their lives to make this freedom we enjoy. That's why this started to honor how great of a sacrifice they make."

Markers continue to be dedicated each year on highways, veterans' facilities, national cemeteries, parks and civic and historic sites across the nation.

The markers bear no individual names, as they are a tribute to the armed forces as a whole.

"This is a tribute to all armed services," garden club member Dee Battista added. "I'm seeing these highway markers all across the country.

Battista said she recently saw a marker on I-70 in Indiana.

"The markers are beautiful," she said. "It's a beautiful program."

Battista said many local, state and national dignitaries were invited to Sunday's event.

"We want as many people to attend as possible," she said. "There will be a tent, chairs, a stage, people directing people where to park and it's supposed to be a nice day."

A reception will take place at the Ernsthausen Performing Arts Center at Norwalk High School immediately following the dedication.

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