The selfless service of former and active duty military members does not go unnoticed in Social Circle.
On Monday, Flag Day, members of Gateways Garden Club and Gary L. Lemonds American Legion Post 332 will hold a Blue Star Marker dedication at 10:30 a.m. in Friendship Park.
Garden club vice president Molly Kimler said Gateways partnered with Post 332 and the city of Social Circle on the Blue Star Marker installment. Kilmer said Georgia has 180 markers, and Social Circle’s Blue Star Marker will make 181 for the state.
Diane Harrington, Post 332 Adjutant, confirmed that to acquire a Blue Star Marker one must go through the National Garden Club, the organization that initiated the Blue Star Marker program in the 1940s.
“We went half and half with the local garden club here,” Harrington said. She said the marker cost about $1,650.
The Blue Star Marker program began in 1944 when the New Jersey Council of Garden Clubs planted 8,000 dogwood trees to honor World War II veterans. The following year, the National Council of State Garden Clubs, now NGC, adopted the program. It grew into a Blue Star Highway system that spread to every corner of the U.S. The Blue Star was an iconic symbol during World War II. It was placed on flags and banners in homes, businesses and places of worship to honor those serving their country, according to the website.
In addition to the Blue Star Marker installment Monday, Post 332 members will partner with local Boy Scouts on a flag retirement ceremony beginning at 6 p.m. at Social Circle United Methodist Church on 261 S. Cherokee Road.
The Boy Scouts of America have an official code for retiring worn out flags that can no longer be repaired, according to scoutingwire.
“The ceremony should be conducted with dignity and respect and the flag burned completely to ashes,” states the BSA handbook.
Harrington said Social Circle’s American Legion often works with the Boy Scouts. They help put out flags on veterans’ graves for Memorial Day, she said.
Post 332 was chartered in 2013, and is named after the late Gary L. Lemonds, a Social Circle resident who served in the Vietnam War. Lemonds, an Army sergeant, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
For more information on Post 332 email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 770-464-3026.