Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker - Interstate 64
Close up of the Blue Star Memorial Highway marker located at the West Virginia Welcome Center (I-64 Eastbound), which includes the tribute to the Armed Forces as well as the sponsors of this marker.
This perspective shows the marker, which is in front of the restrooms on the left, the West Virginia Welcome Center in the middle next to the flag pole, and in the distance to the right is a vending machine building and the Airborne Memorial.
To the right of the West Virginia Welcome Center (opposite of the Blue Star Memorial Highway marker) is the Welcome to West Virginia Airborne Memorial. The building behind it (in the picture) is the vending machines building.
Backstory and Context
The idea excited garden clubs throughout the United States and Rhode Island became the first state to receive the endorsement. Participants work to provide landscaping along the sides of designated highways and erect markers with official approval from their organization and the state highway departments. By 1951, the program expanded beyond World War II and honored all members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
West Virginia's first Blue Star Memorial Marker, dedicated in 1970, was in Weirton. Unfortunately, it was lost a couple of years later during road construction. The large Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker on Interstate 64 Eastbound was the fifth Blue Star Memorial Marker dedicated in West Virginia. Originally dedicated in 1988, the marker was refurbished in 2007. There is also a large Blue Star Memorial Marker at the Interstate 64 Westbound rest stop, which was the third in the state, dedicated in 1986. There are over eighty Blue Star Memorial Markers in West Virginia. The Beechwood Estates Garden Club, part of the Ohio-Guyan District, has sponsored or at least co-sponsored three Blue Star Memorial Markers in West Virginia, one at both rest stops on Interstate 64, as well as one at Roadside Park on Route 60.
2. "History of the Blue Star Memorials." National Garden Clubs, Inc. June 2016. Accessed March 31, 2017. http://gardenclub.org/resources/bluestar/blue-star-program-guidelines.pdf. Located on page 2.
3. "Blue Star Memorial Markers." West Virginia Garden Club. Accessed March 31, 2017. http://wvgardenclub.com/history-of-wvgc/
4. Robbins, Michelle, and Michelle Robins. "Rooted in Memory." American Forests 109, no. 1 (2003): 38-46.
5. Mayes, Fay M. "A Salute to the Garden Clubs." In A Place to Live: The Yearbook of Agriculture 1963, ed. Alfred Stefferud, 566-572. Washington, DC: The United States Government Printing Office, 1963.
6. Weingroff, Richard F. "Blue Star Memorial Highways." U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. November 18, 2015. Accessed March 31, 2017. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/blue01.cfm