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State transportation officials are reminding residents of the Blue Star Memorial Marker Program to honor Veterans Day.
In Nash County, that’s the Blue Star marker at the northbound Interstate 95 rest area where more than 850,000 visitors stop annually. The marker, displayed near the rest area’s flagpole, was dedicated at the spot late last year after being relocated from Rocky Mount.
Wednesday, Nov. 11 is Veterans Day — a day that honors military veterans who have served in the U.S. armed forces, said Lauren Haviland, a spokeswoman for the N.C. Department of Transportation.
“One way NCDOT honors those who currently serve or have served is with the Blue Star Memorial Marker Program,” Haviland said. “The program began in 1944 with garden clubs planting thousands of trees, but has since expanded to include highway markers across the nation.”
There are now 54 large Blue Star Memorial Highway markers in North Carolina.
The marker is a wonderful tribute to the sacrifices made by men and women in the armed forces, said Rocky Mount resident Gus Tulloss, a former N.C. Board of Transportation member.
The marker had been on U.S. 301 for years but was removed during road construction three years ago and stored by the Rocky Mount Garden Club.
The program is based on the Blue Star flag displayed by families who have relatives serving in the military. The program eventually extended to highway markers to recognize all people who served in the U.S. military.
North Carolina’s first Blue Star Memorial Highway was approved for U.S. 301 in 1949, with its marker dedicated in Fayetteville in 1956.