ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP —
A movement that started in 1946 in New Jersey continued Saturday in Lake Shore Park with the dedication of a veterans memorial.
More than 100 people attended a memorial marker dedication in honor of all veterans. “This tradition goes back to the 1940s to recognize the service of our veterans; past, present and future,” said Ashtabula County Commissioner Joseph Moroski.
Ohio Blue Star Chairman Celine Hallier detailed the history of the “markers” that started with the planting of 8,000 dogwood trees between two New Jersey cities following World War II.
A variety of memorials were created throughout the United States and continue to this day, Hallier said. She said highway markers and memorial markers are created by garden clubs across the country.
The original intent was to honor veterans of World War II, Hallier said. “The mission was expanded in 1951 to honor all men and women who served,” she said.
DiAnna Kondas, president of the Garden Trails Garden Club, and Mickie Marquis, Garden Club of Ohio president, did the honors of removing a cloth from the marker to display the memorial.
“Today we are here to pay tribute to our service men and women. It is their courage and service that defends the United States of America,” she said.
After the unveiling Kondas and Kathy Michney, president of Chapter 57 of the Blue Star Mothers, placed a wreath at the memorial.
Two sets of chairs were available for those attending the ceremony and dozens of people stood surrounding the area where the memorial was to be dedicated.
“We gracefully accept this plaque. It is an honor to have it here at Lake Shore Park,” said Ashtabula Township Park Board President Mike Wayman.