The BHGC’s Blue Star Memorial Marker was originally erected in 1972. In 2005, it was relocated to a nicely landscaped park in the town of Bar Harbor along route 3, near the head of Mount Desert Island.
The Club holds Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies, and maintains the memorial marker. The Club provides BHGC Volunteers.
The ‘Blue Star Memorial Program’ began in 1944 with the planting of Dogwood trees as a living memorial to Veterans of World War II. Between 2014 and 2016, our Club planted three Pagoda Dogwood trees here in remembrance of all those who have served our Country to protect our Freedoms. Also, daffodils from the GCFM’s daffodil project were planted.
Veteran’s Day Observance November 11, 2022
“THIS HERE MARKER…”
In 1945 the National Council of State Garden Clubs, as it was then known, adopted the “Blue Star Memorial Marker” program. Originally conceived as a ribbon of one thousand flowering dogwoods (Cornus Florida) to be planted along five miles of a New Jersey state highway, it was intended to be a living memorial to World War II service men and women. The program’s name was chosen to honor the blue star service flag that was hung in the window of families who had folks serving in the war. One state’s remembrance, The National Council decided, should be encouraged across the nation, beautifying the country with dogwood’s large white flowers in Spring and striking red berries in Autumn: America The Beautiful, which our military personnel all hoped to return to after service. The official Blue Star Memorial Marker was designed in 1947. A collaboration between States’ Departments of Transportation and State Garden Clubs established it as a joint project. In 1951 the Mission of the program was extended to include all men and women who serve, have served, or will serve. The marker was altered in 1981 and 1996 to enlarge the number of applicable sites. Today there are over 7,000 Blue Star Memorial Markers across the country.
Now, in June 2004 there was a Letter to the Editor in ‘The Mt Desert Islander’ asking “whatever happened to the Blue Star Memorial sign on Route 3 beyond Sonogee Rehab and Living Center?.. I miss it.” The following week a response was printed from Michaeleen Ward (who usually gives you today’s history lesson). She explained the background of the project and said that the relocation and re-dedication of a refurbished marker was being undertaken by our Club. Michaeleen, Dick & Betty Crawford, Bob & Virginia Ruth, and Ruth Carey began the process. Michaeleen was already a veteran of the program out-of-state. She marshalled her troops, and in August 2005, the present marker… “This here marker…” was re-dedicated with great ceremony.
The national Blue Star Memorial Marker project, a gesture of Thanks and respect and patriotic remembrance, is supported by our Garden Club and friends such as yourselves, here today to honor the men and women who truly embrace the concept of “SERVICE TO YOUR COUNTRY”.
—JoAnne Fuerst, BHGC Historian
You can learn more about the Blue Star Memorial Program at the Garden Club Federation of Maine website.
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Directions from Ellsworth to the Blue Star Memorial Marker: Follow route ME-3 East thru Ellsworth and Trenton for 9.4 miles. At the head of Mount Desert Island, go slightly left to stay on ME-3 for about 1/3 of a mile. The memorial marker is located on the right side of the road, and directly across from some very yellow cottages.