07/17/13 — Funds being raised for Blue Star highway marker

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Funds being raised for Blue Star highway marker

By Steve Herring
Published in News on July 17, 2013 1:46 PM

Wayne County residents are being asked to help raise $1,500 to cover the cost for a Blue Star Memorial Highway marker to pay tribute to the nation's veterans.

The marker, already approved by the state Department of Transportation, would be located on the hill at the Spence Avenue on U.S. 70 East.

The marker is a project of the Evergreen Garden Club, but the DOT would be responsible for installing and maintaining the marker.

The Blue Star Memorial Highway program was created by the National Garden Clubs in 1946 to pay tribute to the members of the Armed Forces who serve or have served in war or periods of hostilities.

The project has since spread across the country, and the markers can be found throughout North Carolina.

The blue star was first used on service flags to denote that a family had someone in the military fighting during a war -- one star for each family member serving.

The county's veterans and military personnel deserve to have one of the memorial markers in their home county, said Anna Lawson, president of the Evergreen Garden Club.

"Everyone else has one, why not us?" she said. "We don't have one here. We thought what a wonderful idea to have for our veterans to show our respect. We thought we would do this as a project. The idea started brewing in early spring. We decided to ask the public to see if there was any interest.

"The public can be part of it and not just be the club. We want people to say, 'We were part of that.' This way we feel the citizens will be more involved. We are just getting started. Any amount is acceptable. I already made one in honor of my husband who served for 20 years. We have so many veterans living in this area I think it is such a nice thing. We thought that it would be nice since we don't have anything on the highway."

Club members hope they can raise the money by September and have the marker in place in time to have a dedication ceremony to celebrate Veterans Day, she said.

Contributions may be made in honor or memory of someone who served.

Donations may be sent to the Evergreen Garden Club, with a note that it is for the Blue Star Memorial fund, 202 Chancery Drive, Goldsboro 27530.

For questions or more information send email to bslowins@bellsouth.net.