The Lodi Garden Club is holding its Blue Star Memorial Dedication on April 4 at 10 a.m. at Cherokee Memorial Cemetery.
The Blue Star program honors men and women who serve our country in the military. The blue star became an icon throughout the country during World War II and was displayed on flags and banners in homes, businesses and churches.
It actually began with the planting of 8,000 dogwood trees by the New Jersey Council of Garden Clubs in 1944 as a living memorial to veterans of World War II. In 1945, National Garden Clubs, Inc. adopted the program and began a Blue Star Highway system, which covers thousands of miles across all 50 states. Large metal Blue Star Memorial highway markers are still being placed at appropriate locations along the country’s roadways.
California Highways 99 and 40 were dedicated in 1947. Markers can only be placed after a resolution by the California Assembly. There are now 18 dedicated highways in the state, and 58 markers.
A second type of memorial marker minus the word highway was approved in 1996 for dedication at national cemeteries or VA medical facilities. A third type, the Blue Star Memorial Byway Marker, was approved in 1994 for placement in parks, historic sites and civic areas. In 2004, these markers were approved for placement at state veterans’ homes and cemeteries where veterans are buried
This is the second Blue Star Memorial the Lodi Garden Club has placed. The first was dedicated in 1992 and mounted on a large rock in the footpath entrance to the Micke Memorial Building.
Special guests at the dedication will include Mayor Alan Nakanishi, a representative from Jerry McNerney’s office, the Travis Honor Guard, Lodi American Legion Post 22, Lodi Disabled American Veterans Post 59 and Veterans of Foreign Wars.