Montgomery County Coliseum. The program was organized by the American Legion Post 52, the DAV Chapter 54, the Thomas Rodney Chapter of the MSSDAR, and the Winona Garden Club.
The Blue Star Memorial honors all men and women that serve or have served in the armed forces that have defended the United States of America.
Monday, American Legion Post 52 Commander Mark Lawson and Thomas Rodney Chapter MSSDAR Regent Tammy Hunger led the program which featured the Pledge of Allegiance by Deborah Enis, invocation by Rev. Mark Williamson, welcome by Winona Mayor Jerry Flowers, a DAR reading by Thomas Rodney Chapter Chaplain Priss Ferguson, an introduction of guests by Winona Garden Club Co-President Betty Ellis, a military tribute by Winona Garden Club Vice President Susan Robertson, and benediction by Rev. Jay Anderson.
Nancy Moore, chairman of the Blue Star State Committee for The Garden Clubs of Mississippi, Inc., served as keynote speaker, giving those in attendance the history and importance of the Blue Star program.
“The Blue Star dates back to the Napoleon years and George Washington,” Moore said.
According to Moore, the Blue Star program began when the New Jersey Council of Garden Clubs planted 8,000 Dogwood trees in 1944 as a living memorial to veterans of World War II. In 1945, the National Council of State Garden Clubs adopted the Blue Star Program and began a Blue Star Highway system that covers thousands of miles across the Continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii.
A Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker was placed at appropriate locations along the way.
Last spring, the first Blue Star Memorial in Montgomery County was unveiled near the entrance of the North Mississippi Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Kilmichael.
Ann McCormick, director of the Deep South Garden Clubs, Inc., shared her personal journey as a military wife. McCormick’s husband was killed in Vietnam in 1970, leaving her and her two children.
Scouts from Boy Scout Troup 4039 presented our nation’s colors for the event, and the Winona High School choir sang the National Anthem.
At the monument unveiling, Cameron Bullard performed TAPS, and Elizabeth Eldridge sang “God Bless America.”