Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Williamsburg to see blue star tribute for Veterans Day

Williamsburg gets a blue star
Blue Star Memorials like this one date back to World War II, when New Jersey garden clubs planted dogwood trees as a tribute to veterans. (Photo courtesy National Garden Clubs Inc.)

A tribute to veterans with roots in World War II is coming to Williamsburg on Veterans Day.

On Nov. 11, the Williamsburg Area Council of Garden Clubs will present the city with a Blue Star Memorial Marker at 1:30 p.m. in Bicentennial Park, at the corner of Nassau Street and Newport Avenue, according to a release.

A Blue Star Memorial is part of a national program launched by New Jersey garden clubs during World War II to commemorate men and women who served in the U.S. armed forces, according to the website of National Garden Clubs Inc.

“It is apparent that veterans make up a significant and vital part of the Williamsburg community,” Glenda Knowles, president of WACGC, said in a release. “The placement of this Blue Star Memorial Marker and site is intended to visibly honor all who have served, are serving and will choose to serve our country.”

The dedication ceremony is open to the public and will feature the College of William & Mary ROTC Color Guard, a performance of the national anthem by lyric soprano Gayla Johnson and remarks from Mayor Paul T. Freiling, T.C. Smith, commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart of Williamsburg and Barbara Holister, chairman of Blue Star Memorials.

Blue stars were used during World War II to mark homes where children were away in combat, according to website for the National Garden Clubs.

Joan Quigley
Joan Quigley
Joan Quigley is a former Miami Herald business reporter, a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and an attorney. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, TIME.com, nationalgeographic.com and Talking Points Memo. Her recent book, Just Another Southern Town: Mary Church Terrell and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Nation’s Capital, was shortlisted for the 2017 Mark Lynton History Prize. Her first book, The Day the Earth Caved In: An American Mining Tragedy, won the 2005 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award.

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