Motorists on International Speedway Boulevard near DeLand may now notice something that was previously easy to miss: a sign designating the road as a Blue Star Highway.The Garden Club of DeLand hosted a gathering Wednesday, Dec. 7, to rededicate the Blue Star memorial marker. The significance of the date — the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor — was not lost on the club.“That’s why we chose it,” Garden Club of DeLand President Joan Richardson said. 2011
Dedication — Ceremony Chairwoman, Susanne Trittschuh of The Garden Club of DeLand, assists World War II Veteran Tom Thompson as they prepare to place a memorial wreath at the rededication of DeLand’s Blue Star Memorial Highway marker. Tom Thompson's wife, Ann was in attendance. The Garden Club of DeLand chose Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Day, for the ceremony; Tom Thompson was at Pearl Harbor on the day of infamy, 70 years ago. The wreath was donated by The Magnolia Co. in Barberville.
Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker Rededication Committee
Former President, Natasha Watts (2009-2011) began the refurbishing of the Memorial process during her administration. Joan Richardson (2011-2013) organized a committee to hold the ceremony for the rededication.
The Blue Star Memorial Highway Program began in 1947 as a way of honoring Americans who had served in the armed forces during World War II.U.S. Highway 1 was the first such road in Florida. A Blue Star marker was placed in Key West in 1949.The program was expanded in 1951 to honor all those who had served honorably in the U.S. armed forces
For the veterans — Members of the Garden Club of DeLand gather around the Blue Star Memorial Highway marker they helped refurbish and rededicate.
The marker had been located at the intersection of two highways, where U.S. 92 separates from U.S. Highway 17. At the direction of the Florida Department of Transportation, the sign was reset about 150 feet east of its old spot.“It was moved further away from the intersection to where you turn into McDonald’s and Walgreens,” Margaret Gillen said.