Blue Star Memorial Markers
The Blue Star Memorial Highway project is a nationwide web of memorials and markers placed by members of The National Garden Clubs, Inc. including The Garden Club of North Carolina, Inc.
NC DOT handles the installation of the highway markers along highways in North Carolina and maintains a directory of NC highway marker locations with photos. A link to the Directory is given below. In North Carolina there are over 1,000 miles designated as the Blue Star Highway Network including all interstates, US routes, and most NC routes. This extensive network honors all veterans and military groups in the state and nation.
Types of Blue Star Markers
There are three type of Blue Star markers:
- Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker -- NCDOT will discuss location, installation and maintenance with clubs wanting to participate in the program.
- Blue Star Memorial Marker -- Placed in National Cemeteries, Veterans Medical Centers and Civic locations. These may be maintained by the organization and/or sponsoring garden club. Other Blue Star Memorial Markers are placed by garden clubs in non-highway locations.
- Blue Star Byway Marker -- Mounted to a boulder or piece of granite and can be placed in civic gardens, parks and historic sites.
The Gold Star Families Marker honors the families whose loved one paid the ultimate price of defending the United States of America.
How to Get Involved
A federated garden club must sponsor new markers, and there are many ways of funding these tributes. Local civic organizations often help with financing, construction, planting and maintenance. The dedication is always a special event for the town or area where the marker will be placed. The process from ordering the marker to the actual dedication takes about 10 weeks. For more information including costs and guidelines, visit the link given below to the National Garden Clubs’ webpage dedicated to this program.
Many older Blue Star Highway Markers need to be restored and refurbished. If you have a marker which needs refurbishing, there is a veteran from Florida, Tom Stalling, who will come to NC and rehab the marker on site rather than shipping it to Sewell Studios, the marker manufacturer. The markers are heavy, and shipping can be costly. It is suggested that a professional company be used for restorations in order to ensure that that NGC Guidelines are being followed.
Click here for the Directory of Blue Star Markers in North Carolina
Click here to visit National Garden Club’s webpage dedicated to this program with information on this program’s history, guidelines and costs for new markers and commemorative items.
Click here for information on restoration and how to contact Tom Stallings.