Georgia Veterans Memorial Cemetery Director Russell Feagin approved the Garden Club's Blue Star Marker request and is excited about the addition.
“I think it is outstanding that they did it. Veterans and active duty military need to remain in the forefront of our thoughts,” Feagin said. “Groups like the garden clubs keep bringing that to people's attention and reminding them.”
Garden Clubs of Georgia members total nearly 11,000 statewide. During the dedication, president of Old Capital Garden Club Ellen Goodrich said the markers are a visible way to care, reminding past generations of military sacrifice.
Most garden club members share a direct connection to the armed forces through family service. Without them, America wouldn't have freedom, according to Goodrich.
Thiese discovered her first Blue Star Memorial Marker in a midwest rest stop years ago. Raising awareness to the program means a lot.
“My husband is a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Navy. That makes the program have special meaning to me,” Thiese said. “Oftentimes in today's world, many of us have loved ones who served in the armed forces. These markers show those families that their loved ones are appreciated, and more importantly that those who've made the ultimate sacrifice will not be forgotten.”
Old Capital and Town and Country garden club member Jane Thompson said most club members' dads served in WWII. During the conflict, Germans shot down her husband's father, so the double meaning rings true.
The veteran's cemetery includes around 1,900 burials of all races and religions. The Milledgeville Garden Club Council chose the location for its significant stance with future generations.
Maj. General Thomas Greer (Ret.) recalled war torn days of service during the Friday ceremony. He reminded everyone of younger veterans all volunteered.
The Blue Star Program helps bring attention to treating service men and women with due respect, according to Greer.