Garden clubs place wreath at Blue Star memorial marker


Members of the Browning Community Garden Club along with the Killeen Garden Club gathered on Veterans Day at 11 a.m. beside the Blue Star Memorial, located on the Clear Creek Access Road near the corner of Washington St.
Ret. CW3 Stanford Passman spoke to those assembled about the history of Veterans Day from its first official years after World War I, with President Woodrow Wilson’s declaration that it be observed on eleventh hour. on the eleventh day of the eleventh month every year.
Passman served in the United States Army for 21 years, working in food service and serving more than 1000 meals per day. Of those years, nine were spent in the 101st Airborne division, with 2-1/2 of those years in Vietnam.
“It was a trying time for soldiers,” Passman said. “I am proud to represent veterans, and especially proud of those who served in Vietnam.”
Marlene Gilman then gave a history of the Blue Star memorial, which is part of a nationwide network of memorials of the National Garden Club. This particular memorial was first dedicated in 1992.
“It was purchased by the Killeen Garden Club, the Copperas Cove Garden Club, and the Browning Community Garden Club in Kempner. The Copperas Cove club has since disbanded, so the two surviving clubs take care of the maintenance through our celebrations.
In times past, so many have given so much, of time and material, to ensure the completion of this memorial so a full list is far beyond the capacity of this timeframe. However, we wish to acknowledge the support of the judges and commissioners of Bell, Coryell and Lampasas counties, and also the mayors and council members for the approvals and resolutions. Without the excellent cooperation of the Texas Department of Transportation, this project could not have been achieved. Our task is complete and we will continue to maintain this memorial and the others throughout the state. For this, we are most grateful.”
She also thanked all active duty service members, their families and retirees for their service as well as for their attendance on Wednesday.
After presidents of the Browning Community Garden Club and Killeen Garden Club, Elaine Passman and Monica Huereque, placed a wreath at the memorial, friends and family members sowed bluebonnets seeds on the grass surrounding the marker. The group is looking forward to seeing the flowers bloom on the side of the highway by the memorial in the spring.  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.
There are more than 80 Blue Star Memorial Markers in the state of Texas.


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