By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
The Mountaineer Garden Club has been working diligently for some time to join their sister clubs in becoming recognized as a Blue Star participant. This was especially important for Faith Moore, who was appointed Chairperson of the campaign. The purpose of this recognition is to place a marker on the highways as “a tribute to the Armed Forces who have defended the United States of America.” Moore noted, “The majority of the counties in West Virginia have Blue Star Memorials, but none in Tucker County.”
The history of this recognition dates back to the closing of World War II when the National Garden Clubs, which was known as the National Council of State Garden Clubs at the time, sought out to find a way to honor the brave men and women who fought for our country. This program took off nationwide in 1944, beginning with New Jersey Council of Garden Clubs planting 8,000 dogwood trees dedicated to the veterans of World War II. In 1945, the council adopted the Blue Star program, which was named for the blue star in the service flag that was hung in the windows of many homes and businesses to honor service men and women, past, present, and future. These blue star memorial markers are to now be placed on the highways and byways in honor our armed forces nationwide.
Moore was especially dedicated to this mission due to her father and uncle’s on both sides of her family fighting in World War II. “My brothers served in various branches of the armed services when they were younger,” she added, along with two of her brothers continued serving in the National Guard as well. In true family fashion, Moore herself served the armed forces. “I also was employed as a nurse practitioner performing readiness physicals for the National Guard, Army, and Marine reserves. This gave me a deeper understanding of the very real danger and the sacrifices service members experience daily,” she said. “The experiences they endure do not disappear once they are home. I wanted to find a way to express my gratitude and the National Garden Club’s Blue Star Memorial Program offered a perfect way for our county to honor all veterans, past, present, and future,” said Moore.
The club was committed to making this a reality and set out to secure the necessary funds to become a part of this honor. “The members felt that this was a way for the club to honor the many veterans in Tucker County,” she said. The cost of the marker is more than $1,500, and for such a small club it is difficult to come up with a large sum such as this. Therefore, the club set out to raise funds through community involvement, such as speaking at the Tucker County Commission meeting to educate those in attendance about the program and groups desire.
Approval was finally received from the State Garden Club to raise these funds and donations from many generous donors and businesses poured in, reaching their goal this past October. “There is a six month wait period for the marker, which will allow time for planning a dedication ceremony which is planned for Flag Day of June 2020,” Moore noted.
The marker will be placed on the long walled area next to the Parsons welcome sign on Route 72.