Federated Garden        Clubs of          Minnesota, Inc.

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MN Blue Star Markers

Submitted by Carol Oeltjenbruns, Blue Star Chair

Our newest Blue Star Memorial Markers were installed at the Thompson Hill Information Center outside of Duluth and at the General Andrews Rest Area near Sturgeon Lake on Saturday, May 27th. Presentations were given by Carole Oeltjenbruns, Betty Beck, Rene’ Lynch, and Bonnie Schwichtenberg from Federated; and Retired Colonel Penny Dieryck, Minnesota Blue Star Mothers President Denise Guerra, and Sheila Laughton, Board Chair of Women Veterans Initiative. Phyllis Andrews made the wreaths for the markers. It was a small crowd, but all who attended were most appreciative and learned more about the history of the Blue Star Markers and Blue Star Mothers. The markers drew the attention of visitors stopping at the rest area.

                 
         Speakers at the event were Penny Dieryck, Col. (retired), 2nd from right, and

                                                    
                                  Denise Guerra, MN Blue Star Mothers President

                                                             

A history of the Blue Star Marker has been added to help members that are not familiar                 with this National Garden Club project to understand it’s significance.

A brief history of the Blue Star Memorial Markers:


                          Honoring Those Who have Served Our Country

The Blue Star Memorial Program honors all men and women that serve in the United States Armed Services. This program 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, the National Council of State Garden Clubs adopted this program and began a Blue Star Highway system that covers thousands of miles across the Continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii. A large metal Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker was placed at appropriate locations along the way.

What we see today is a program that has expanded to include all men and women who had served, were serving or would serve in the armed services of the United States.  Memorial Markers and By-Way Markers were added to the Highway Markers, to be used at locations such as National cemeteries, parks, veteran's facilities and gardens.


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, and in churches and businesses. This program has been active all through the years to the present, a fitting tribute to our Armed Forces and especially now.

                                 
In the State of Minnesota Interstate 35 and Interstate 94 have been designated as Blue Star Highways.  This is a total of 503 miles; 248 miles on I-35 and  255 miles on I-94. 

The markers are placed to stand as a symbol for:

 

                                              All to See

Lest we forget

Those who help to keep us free.



A Photo History Of Minnesota's Blue Star Markers

December 10, 1970        FGCM, Inc. donated a Blue Star Memorial Marker at General Andrews Rest Stop, southbound                                         on I-35, north of Sandstone by Willow River.

                                       


December 10, 1970        FGCM, Inc. donated a Blue Star Memorial Marker at Kettle River, on the northbound
                                       lane of I-35.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      


September 28, 1974       FGCM, Inc. donated a Blue Star Memorial Marker at the Moorhead Information Center
                                       on I-94 as it enters Minnesota from North Dakota.  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                              


                                                  



November 12, 1975          FGCM, Inc. donated a Blue Star Memorial Marker at the Albert Lea Info Center 
                                         on I-35 as it enters Minnesota from Iowa.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      



April 1, 1976                     FGCM, Inc. donated a Blue Star  By-Way Marker at the Sturgeon Lake Rest Area
                                         on I-94 near Alexandria.

                                                   



October 26, 1976              FGCM, Inc. donated a Blue Star Memorial Marker at the Forest Lake
                                          Rest Area on I-35.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      



November 11, 1988          FGCM, Inc. donated a Blue Star Memorial Marker at the St. Croix Travel Center
                                         on the westbound lane of I-94 as it enters Minnesota from Wisconsin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      



October 2, 1999                FGCM, Inc. donated a Blue Star Memorial Marker at Fort Snelling National
                                         Cemetery in Minneapolis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      



May 31, 2004                      Sweet Sioux Garden Club donated a Blue Star By-Way Marker in
                                           Bicentennial Park,  Burnsville.
                                                           
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May 19, 2007                  Bloomington Affiliated Garden Clubs donated a Blue Star By-Way Marker 
                                       at Mount Normandy Lake Park, Bloomington.

November 2016              UPDATE: This marker was moved to the Bloomington National 
                                       Guard Armory at 98th St. between Penn and France by the
                                       Ramblewood Garden Club because the rock it was on cracked.
                                       See new photo further down page.

                                        



November 10, 2007         Normandy Park Garden Club donated a Blue Star By-Way Marker 
                                        at Veterans Memorial Park, White Bear Lake.

                                        



September 1, 2008          FGCM, Inc. donated a Blue Star By-Way Marker at the Minnesota
                                        State Fairgrounds, St. Paul.

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April 26, 2012                   Richfield Garden Club Council donated a Blue Star By-Way Marker at
                                         the Richfield Community Center, 7000 Nicollet Ave S., Richfield.

                                         



May  29, 2016                   A Memorial Marker donated by FGCM, Inc was dedicated during a ceremony at
                                         the Minnesota State  Veterans Cemetery in Preston,MN. This is a new cemetery
                                         for service men and women in southwestern Minnesota. The marker is near the
                                         Administration Building as you enter the main drive.



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

                                                                               


November 2016                The Garden Clubs of Bloomington moved the Blue Star Memorial By Way Marker located
                                         at  Lake Normandale to the Bloomington National Guard Armory at 3300 98th Street in                                                Bloomington, MN.







May 27 2017                 Blue Star Memorial Markers were installed at the Thompson Hill Information Center outside of                                          Duluth and at the General Andrews Rest Area near Sturgeon Lake


 
Thompson Hill Info Center near Duluth

 
General Andrews Rest Area near Sturgeon Lake
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