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Blue Star Marker dedicated
Blue Star Marker 001
A wreath sits with the Blue Star Memorial By-Way Marker in Main Street Park. - photo by Judy Shippey
Extreme cold and imminent rain did not deter the Morning Glory Garden Club and about 60 onlookers from the completion of the dedication of a new marker in Main Street Park on Jan. 16.
The new Blue Star Memorial By-Way Marker was erected by the Garden Club in honor of all armed forces personnel- past, present and future. It reads:
"Blue Star Memorial By-Way- A tribute to the Armed Forces of America, Morning Glory Garden Club, Oleander District, National Garden Clubs, Inc."
In his first official proclamation, new Hinesville Mayor James Thomas proclaimed Jan. 16 as "Blue Star Memorial By-Way Marker Day in Hinesville."
Members of the Morning Glory Garden Club sponsored the placing of the marker in the park in cooperation with The Department of the Army and the city of Hinesville.
Following the welcome by Bob Sprinkel, assistant administrator of Liberty County, Chief Magistrate Judge Melinda Anderson presided over the ceremony.  
The presentation of colors was performed by Liberty County High School's ROTC unit, under the guidance of Army Instructor, Sgt. Scott Turner. This was followed by the singing of the National Anthem by Frances Moody.  She was accompanied by Tom Hickey.
Dr. Charles Owens of the First Baptist Church of Hinesville gave the invocation. This was followed by greetings from Sara Lanier, President of the Garden Clubs of Georgia.
After the introduction of guests by Miss Judy Shippey, President of the Morning Glory Garden Club, Gloria Mize, Oleander District Blue Star Marker chairman, gave the history of the marker.
Military tributes were given by Lt. Col. John R. Platt, deputy garrison commander for transformation on Fort Stewart, Col. (ret.) Ed Gartman, American Legion, Veterans Foreign Wars Post 6602 and Col. David S. Lee, garrison commander of the National Guard Training Center.
The unveiling of the marker was done by Linda Abbott and Winette Almon, director and co-director of the Oleander District, Garden Club of Georgia. This was followed by the dedication of the marker by Sara Lanier, State Garden Club president.
The marker was accepted for the city by Claudia Thomas, wife of the mayor.
Helen Bryan and Louise Stewart then placed a red, white, and blue wreath at the marker.
The Rev. Zach Kirby, minister of music of the First Baptist Church of Hinesville, led the group in singing, "God Bless America".
Following the benediction by Owens, Hickey presented a trumpet rendition of "Taps" and the ceremony concluded.
Members of the Garden Club served hot cider and cookies in the park's gazebo.
Many people were involved in the successful carrying out of the project. Public thanks must be given to Stewart, who masterminded the ceremony and attended to all the details.
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