03/27/05 — Marker to be dedicated in memory of veterans

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Marker to be dedicated in memory of veterans

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on March 27, 2005 2:02 AM

WARSAW -- A Blue Star Memorial Marker, honoring North Carolina's military veterans, will be erected April 6 at the I-40 rest stop near Warsaw.

The Garden Club of North Carolina will dedicate a Blue Star Memorial Marker at 2 p.m. at the Warsaw rest stop at Exit 364. The Warsaw Garden Club will serve refreshments following the dedication ceremony.

Garden Club members from across the state donated money to make the memorial possible, said Alta Kornegay of the Warsaw Garden Club, which has about 30 members. It costs $1,000 to erect the marker, she said.

Warsaw residents have long been proud of their military heritage. The town sponsors the oldest Veterans Day parade in the country and supports the Duplin County Veterans Museum.

Every state has devloped a project to create Blue Star Memorial Highway Markers since the mid-1940s, when garden clubs in New Jersey planted five miles of dogwoods and named it Blue Star Drive.

"All along the five miles, the women put blue stars in their windows to honor the service men and women in New Jersey," said Mrs. Kornegay.

Since then, the Blue Star Memorial campaign has caught on with garden clubs across the nation. It began as recognition of World War II veterans but has since come to represent the contributions of veterans of all wars, past, present and future.