A memorial dedication for the Blue and Gold Star memorials is slated for 1 p.m. Friday, July 27, at the Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium. The event also coincides with the first day of the 2018 Coast Guard Festival.
Men and women serving in the armed forces are honored with the Blue Star Memorial, and the families of fallen service members are honored with the Gold Star Memorial.
The National Garden Club sponsored the markers, which are located outside the northeastern side of the stadium. According to a press release, donations from the American Legion Charles A. Conklin Post 28, businesses and military families helped make the memorial possible.
During the ceremony, Michigan Garden Clubs President Carol Brodbeck will dedicate the memorials, and comments will be made by Ferrysburg Mayor Rebecca Hopp, Grand Haven Mayor Geri McCaleb and Spring Lake Village President Mark Powers. Blue and Gold Star families will also be honored guests, and the local American Legion’s Honor Guard will participate in the ceremony.
There are 95 highway and byway memorials throughout Michigan. While Grand Haven will be the 96th Blue Star Memorial, it will be the first Gold Star in the state, said Judy Lindemulder, Blue Star chairwoman for the Michigan Garden Clubs.
About 3,500 memorials are in place throughout the country. So far this summer, five memorials have been dedicated and two more are slated for this fall.
The National Garden Club started the memorials as a tribute after World War II. Over the years, the tribute grew from planting dogwood trees to highway and byway memorials, Lindemulder said.
As people visit the waterfront and memorials, Lindemulder said they hope it serves as a visual reminder of veterans’ service and their support.
“I hope it will remind people to say thank you,” she said.