The Blue Star Memorial Highway

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Have you seen the blue stars? Do you know what they mean? Many old roadside parks in the United States have them. They have a double meaning. Roadside Parks were constructed for travelers to stop and rest. It contributed to safer driving.

Blue Star Memorial Highways pays tribute to the US Armed Forces. The National Council of State Garden Clubs started the program after World War II, according to Wikipedia. The blue star was used on service flags to denote a servicemember fighting in the war. The marker on the roadside park in Smith Center is on a huge rock facing the highway and denotes the Smith Center Garden Club. {{more}}

The roadside park has picnic tables under a covering, water, and barbecue pits. There are no restroom facilities.

Kansas began constructing roadside parks in the 1930s in the days before fast-food restaurants and convenience stores. This is according to Kansas Cyclist on the web, Randy Rasa, editor/ webmaster at Kansas Cyclist.

The Blue Star Memorial HighwayOn the website of explains: The Blue & Gold Star Memorials Program honors all men and women that serve in the United States Armed Services. This program began with the planting of 8,000 Dogwood trees by the New Jersey Council of Garden Clubs in 1944 as a living memorial to veterans of World War II. In 1945, the National Council of State Garden Clubs adopted this program and began a Blue Star Highway system that covers thousands of miles across the Continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii. A large metal Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker was placed at appropriate locations along the way.

Sharon Black is from Smith Center, Kansas. We welcome her to our team of volunteers.

Smith Center KansasSharon Black has been writing for many years including newspapers, short stories, and as a publisher. She was born in Nebraska and has lived in Kansas most of her life. In her hometown of Smith Center, Kansas, Willa Cather’s hometown is to the north and Bob Dole’s hometown is to the south. Sharon is a press release writer for the National Parks Arts Foundation, and writes for b U n e k e magazine. The biggest project she has accomplished is co-writer of the TV movie Home on the Range. The movie is about the song, which is the state song of Kansas and the lawsuit surrounding it in the 1930s, and finding the rightful author of the song. Sharon is distantly related to the Mississippi writer Eudora Welty.

Nancy Shaffer board member

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