The newly refurbished Blue Star marker in Bath. Contributed photo

The Bath Garden Club held a rededication ceremony for a refurbished Bath Blue Star Highway Marker from 1954 on Sept. 9.

The ceremony marked the two-year project to refurbish the marker and restore a derelict garden.

The marker was installed at its new location at the Bath Regional Information Center on Commercial Street. It had been stored at Bath Public Works for over a decade after it was removed from its spot along Route 1 due to a construction project.

The Blue Star Program was started in WWII by the New Jersey Garden Club as a living memorial to veterans of World War II, according to the garden club. The Blue Star was used on service flags to denote a servicemember fighting in the war. The program was adopted in 1945 and currently, the Blue Star Highway system covers thousands of miles across the United States. In 1951, the Blue Star Program enlarged its mission to include all people who had served, were serving, or would serve in the United States.

On Oct. 19, 1954, the Cosmopolitan Garden Club of Bath, in cooperation with the Garden Club Federation of Maine and the Maine State Highway Department, installed the Blue Star Highway marker at the intersection of Floral Street and Route 1 in Bath.

In 2017, Fred Kahrl of Woolwich contacted the Bath Garden Club to try to find the marker and put it back in service. Garden club Past Pam President Lajeunesse was able to locate the marker at Bath Public Works and facilitated its refurbishing and reinstallment, which included extensive landscaping of the surrounding garden.

The Bath Blue Star Highway Marker project was awarded the Spirit of Bath Award from the city of Bath in October 2020, and a certificate of recognitionĀ from the Garden Club Federation of Maine in June 2021.

At the rededication ceremony, retired Air Force Brigadier General Dillon shared his appreciation of the Blue Star Highway Markers as a reminder of the sacrifices made to protect freedom, according to the garden club. Retired Navy Master Chief Roger Dumont reflected on the markers as a symbol of thanks to service members, families of service members and veterans. The ceremony concluded with the placement of a ceremonial wreath by Bath Club President Joan Toy and LaJeunesse.

The Bath Garden Club recently held a rededication ceremony for a Blue Star marker.

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