Veterans of the United States’ armed forces will be saluted during several area programs next week in honor of Veterans Day.
On Veterans Day, a Blue Star marker, as part of the Blue Star Memorial Program, will be placed in downtown New Albany at the Tallahatchie Bridge as a way to honor veterans of World War II.
Both service men and women will be honored and recognized for their years in the Armed Forces at this dedication ceremony. The New Albany Garden Club is sponsoring this event.
Betsey Hamilton, New Albany Garden Club member, said, “The Blue Star Memorial Program has been active among garden clubs throughout the United States for more than 60 years. It has been and continues to be a fitting tribute to honor those who have served, are now serving and will serve in the Armed Forces of our great Nation. We, as members of the New Albany Garden Club, are proud to now be a part of this patriotic program as we provide for all to see, just another reminder of the sacrifices made by others for us. Let us never forget.”
The Blue Star Memorial Program had its beginnings in 1944 with the planting of 8,000 Dogwood trees by the New Jersey Council of Garden Clubs 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, including Alaska and Hawaii. A large metal Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker was placed at appropriate locations along the way.
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.
The event will begin at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010 at the Tallahatchie Bridge near the former Luv A Pet. New Albany Garden Club President Grace Provence will welcome the visitors and various New Albany Garden Club members, among others, will help in different areas of the dedication ceremony.
The New Albany High School JROTC will hold a presentation of colors, Rev. William Everett will give the invocation, and New Albany Garden Club member Anita Buster will lead everyone in a pledge of allegiance.
Betty Campbell will introduce guests and officials, Betsey Hamilton will give the history of the Blue Star Memorial Markers, Jane Ford will hold a military tribute, Campbell and Hamilton will unveil the marker, Joy Fisher will dedicate the marker, Grace Provence will accept the marker, Joy Fisher will give a tribute to flowers, Carolyn Houston will sing “God Bless America” and Charlie Coker will play “Taps.”
“It is a great day to recognize and honor members of the Armed Forces,” said Hamilton.
The public is invited to attend, which includes military members, military families, and veterans. 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.
Other area programs in honor of Veterans Day include:
Ecru Veterans Day Parade
November 6, 2010. Starting at Pannell Park and ending at the Community Center, 10 a.m.
West Union Attendance Center Veterans Day Program, November 10, 2010, West Union School Gymnasium, 7:30 a.m.
Blue Star Marker Dedication, November 11, 2010, Tallahatchie River Bridge near former Luv A Pet, 11 a.m.
Hickory Flat Veterans Day Program, November 11, 2010, Hickory Flat School New Gymnasium, 11 a.m.