The Garden Club Council of Greater Columbia, Inc, dedicated a Blue Star Memorial Marker honoring service men and women at Fort Jackson National Cemetery May 16, 2017.
The Blue Star program began 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 ll. 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.
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, Alaska, and Hawaii. Large metal Blue Star markers were placed at appropriate locations along the way.
Over the years, the program expanded to include all men and women who had served, were serving, or would serve in the Armed Forces of the United States.
Memorial markers and by-way markers were added to the highway markers at locations such as national cemeteries, parks, veteran’s facilities, and gardens.
The marker installed at the 585- acre For t Jackson National Cemetery is the product of the fundraising efforts of the Garden Club Council of Greater Columbia, Inc., which includes 25 member garden clubs from the area, in cooperation with the Garden Club of South Carolina, Inc., and the Department of Veterans Affairs. It is prominently placed at the main entrance to the cemetery, which is located a quarter mile south of Interstate 20, at 4170 Percival Road near Clemson Road.
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