- Category: Blue Star Memorial Marker Garden
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Review by Joan Bowen, Springfield Council of Federated Garden Clubs
On June 14, approximately 150 people gathered in the hot sun for the dedication of the Blue Star Veterans’ Memorial in the Springfield Botanical Gardens at Nathaneal Greene/Close Memorial Park, 2400 S. Scenic Ave. Fittingly, this was Flag Day so everyone received a flag as they joined with the Springfield Council of Federated Garden Clubs for this 84th installation of a Blue Star Memorial in the state of Missouri.
The Veterans Memorial Honor Guard presented the colors to start the ceremony, followed by Josefina Raborar, Springfield Garden Council President, leading the Pledge of Allegiance. Rev. Philip Johnson gave the Invocation and Benediction. Shayne Piles sang the National Anthem and later Miriam Kemper sang God Bless America, both vocalists are from Republic High School. Cynthia Broderson, FGCM Blue Star Memorial Chairperson, gave the History of the Blue Star Memorial. Jerry Jacob, news anchor for Channel 33 was our featured speaker. Jerry gave up an anchor job and joined the military at the age of 42 where he became a medic and served tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Photos by Sheila Amyx Neff
The Memorial was uncovered by Frank Mason and Earl Whitman, both Navy veterans and both of whom had worked to put in the gardens. Katie Steinhoff, Director of the Botanical Gardens, accepted the Memorial. Nan McCabe, FGCM 2nd Vice President, gave the Dedication of the Marker. This was followed by Helen Boutwell, a “Rosie the Riveter” who worked in the munitions factory during the war, laying the wreath, assisted by Avis Holloway, FOG and Hillbilly Gardeners member, who made the lovely living wreath of succulents.