On October 15, 2015

Rutland Garden Club hosts dinner to refurbish WWII plaque along Blue Star Memorial Highway

Courtesy of Zip Barnard

The Rutland Garden Club maintains this Blue Star Garden, where a WWII commemorative plaque stands, paying tribute to those who served in the war.

Sunday, Oct. 18 at 4 p.m. — RUTLAND — The Rutland Garden Club and American Legion Post #31 will sponsor a spaghetti dinner on Sunday, Oct. 18 to benefit the refurbishment of the WWII commemorative plaque in the Blue Star Garden on Woodstock Avenue in Rutland. The Rutland Garden Club plants and maintains this garden as well as 20 other public gardens in Rutland.

On the menu will be spaghetti and meatballs, salad, bread and dessert. There will be a cash bar. The dinner will take place between 4 and 7 p.m. at American Legion Hall, 33 Washington Street in Rutland. The hall is handicap accessible. Tickets are $10 cash or a check to Rutland Garden Club. Tickets may be reserved by purchasing in advance at Beauchamp & O’ Rourke Pharmacy, 62 Woodstock Ave., Rutland.

History of the Blue Star Memorial Highway program

The Blue Star Memorial Highways are a tribute to the armed forces that have defended the United States of America. At the close of World War II, National Garden Club of America (known as National Council of Garden Clubs at the time) was seeking a suitable means of honoring service men and women. Garden club members visualized a living memorial, preferring to help beautify and preserve the country these men and women had fought for. This program began in 1945. The name was chosen for the stars on flags displayed in homes and businesses denoting that a family member served in the armed forces. Garden Clubs pictured a ribbon of living memorial plantings traversing every state.

Blue Star Highways were achieved through petitions to the state legislatures in cooperation with the departments of transportation. A uniform marker was designed to identify the highways. This program grew to extend thousands of miles across the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii.

Rutland’s marker was installed and dedicated in 1947 honoring Vermonter and World War II General Leonard F. Wing. General Wing was decorated for his service with the 43rd Division in the Pacific Theater during World War II. After the dedication, the care for these sites was taken over by the Federated Garden Clubs of Vermont and the Rutland Garden Club. This dedication included the designation of Route 4 between Fair Haven and White River as the Blue Star Memorial Highway. For info, call 802-775-4321.

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