Citizens of Union County joined people around the entire nation last Thursday in honoring veterans of the U.S. armed forces on Veterans Day. One form of that celebration in New Albany occurred in the raising of the Blue Star Memorial marker.
Sponsored by the New Albany Garden Club, dedication ceremony was held at the end of the Tallahatchie River bridge. Many veterans, business representatives, city and county officials, and visitors came out to be a part of this groundbreaking ceremony.
New Albany Garden Club President Grace Provence began the program by welcoming everyone to the dedication ceremony. New Albany High School JROTC did the presentation of colors, Rev. William Everett led the invocation, and Anita Buster led the crow in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Betty Campbell introduced guests and officials before Betsey Hamilton read the history of Blue Star Memorial markers.
According to information read by Hamilton, 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.
Jane Ford told a story about members of her family that were in the military and gave a military tribute. Then, Betty Campbell and Betsey Hamilton unveiled the marker while Joy Fisher dedicated the marker. “God Bless America” was sung by Carolyn Houston and “Taps” was played by Charlie Coker.