The Garden Clubs of Illinois, Inc. dedicated a new Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018 at the Interstate 57 Illini Prairie Rest Area, southbound, north of Tuscola.
The marker was placed in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Transportation and was celebrated as part of the State of Illinois’ bicentennial.
During the ceremony American Legion Post #27 Chaplain Jenni Boyd provided the invocation and benediction, while the Tuscola American Legion Post and Tuscola Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #10009 presented the colors.
Tuscola’s Tom Wold played Taps to conclude the ceremony.
Blue Star Memorial Markers are placed as a tribute to the Armed Forces who have defended the United States of America. The Blue Star Memorial Marker Program of the National Garden Clubs, Inc. began in 1945. To honor the men and women who served in World War II, markers were designed with a blue start that was symbolic of the star of the service flag. In 1951 the memorial program was extended to include all men and women who had served, were serving, or would serve in the Armed Forces of the United States.
Illinois garden clubs have placed 148 markers since 1948. An older marker, placed in July 1968, is located in a rest stop at the junction of US Routes 36 and 45 outside of Tuscola.