By Sadie Brash
For The Fayette Tribune
OAK HILL —
Woodland Oaks Garden Club of Oak Hill is proud to announce the club will dedicate a Blue Star Memorial marker along the White Oak Rail Trail near the Oak Hill Fire Department on the observed Veteran’s Day, Monday, Nov. 12 at 11 a.m. The Blue Star Memorial marker, a project of National Garden Clubs, Inc., which was started in 1945, honors men and women who have served and are currently serving in the armed forces.
The public is invited to attend the outdoor ceremony. A reception will follow in the fire department meeting room.
Woodland Oaks Garden Club would like to thank and commend our country’s men and women who bravely offer their lives for the preservation of our nation’s freedoms. Unlike most Blue Star Memorial markers, active military personnel and veterans, as well as the public, will be able to view this beautiful marker as they walk, bike or run along the White Oak Rail Trail in Oak Hill. It will be placed in the rock garden that Woodland Oaks Garden Club members have adorned with beautiful plants that have notable characteristics during each season.
The name “Blue Star” was chosen for the star on the flag. The flags were displayed in the home window, denoting a family member serving in the Armed Forces. Also known as the service flag, the blue star stands for hope and pride. The flag appears in the windows of families today for those who serve in the War on Terror.
The Blue Star Memorial markers can be found across America. There are approximately 2,400 all across America. They are found at highly visible areas such as rest stops, visitor centers and parks, civic and historical grounds.
The military guest speaker will be Major General (Ret.) John E. Barnette.
Major General Barnette retired from his position as the Commander of the West Virginia Army National Guard and his dual status position as Chief of Staff for 8th United States Army Korea on June 30, 2010, after 43 years of service.
He obtained a Doctoral degree from West Virginia University in 1990. He has received many major awards and decorations. He was twice designated as distinguished West Virginian.
Other military contributors to the program will be: Military Color Guard 3110, Chaplain Captain Brian William Knight, 130 AW, Charleston, and currently serving as pastor of Oak Hill Baptist Church; Mayor Jon Lopez of Oak Hill, a lieutenant in the Army National Guard; and Col. (Ret.) Raymond Lopez.
Garden club speakers will be Brenda Moore, West Virginia state garden club president, and Barbara Anderson, West Virginia Blue Star Memorial chairman.
Local soloist Merry Hanning will provide patriotic music for the event.