Catch the Blue Star
Another memorial to honor servicemen and women is coming soon to Interstate 85.
The Davidson County Veterans Council is working with other sponsors to place a Blue Star Memorial at the rest areas on the northbound and southbound lanes of Interstate 85. The memorial will join the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at the rest stop.
A Blue Star designates a service member fighting in a war. It has been used for decades on service flags that were hung in windows or yards to recognize a military service member in the home fighting in a war.
Sponsors want to dedicate the memorial by Veterans Day, said Woody Bowman of the Veterans Council, to honor all who served. It’s taken about three years to get the project into design. Board of Commissioners Chairman Fred McClure worked with Bowman and 11 other county officials and residents on the project.
“We started out with no money and we are working on getting some of the materials donated,” Bowman said.
Several garden clubs in Davidson County also are sponsors. Commissioners purchased service plaques and recently displayed the designs at a commissioners meeting.
“You see these signs and plaques along highways, but nobody pays attention,” Bowman said. “We want people to see these memorials and see the stars.”
Each design has a four-foot-diameter star.
“We want to use stones from a North Carolina quarry for the stars,” Bowman said.
Students in Carl Shatley’s design class at Davidson County Community College offered designs. Sponsors selected two.
The design of Group 1, made up of Aaron Adkins, Andrew McCarn, Deb Davis, Vicki Hill and Brittany Grice, will be displayed at the northbound rest area. The southbound rest area will feature a design from Group 2, Bria Taylor, Joe Gray and Eloi Solis.
Bowman, who served in the U.S. Army from 1961 to 1964, said veterans got the idea while people were suggesting names for the I-85 southbound bridge over the Yadkin River, eventually named Veterans Memorial South Bridge.
“You can’t by law name an interstate highway a Blue Star in North Carolina, so we decided to do this,” Bowman said.
Greensboro has one Blue Star memorial at E.Wendover Ave. and Huffine Mill Road in the road cloverleaf, according to the N.C. Department of Transportation. There are no markers between High Point and Charlotte. There is a marker at U.S. 158 in Reidsville and one at U.S. 70 at Veterans Memorial Garden in Mebane.
Memorial: The Veterans Council still needs about $500 on the $1,500 cost to build and set up the memorials in the Interstate 85 rest stops in Davidson County. Other sponsors include Davidson County Master Gardeners, Village Home & Garden Club, Lexington Garden Club, Reeds Fern & Foliage Garden Club, Davidson County Garden Clubs, Garden Markers Garden Club and the Division 9 N.C. Department of Transportation office.
Contributions: Send donations to Woody Bowman at Blue Star Memorial at P.O. Box 1246, Lexington, N.C. 27293-1246.