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DC's First Blue Star Memorial | Environment

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DC's First Blue Star Memorial
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DC's First Blue Star Memorial

 

This story comes to us from David Healy:National Garden Clubs, Inc., in cooperation with the historic Congressional Cemetery, will dedicate the first Blue Star Memorial in the District of Columbia at 10 a.m., Sunday, May 29, 2011. The memorial is to be installed near the intersection of 17th Street and Potomac Avenue SE on Capitol Hill. The Blue Star Memorial honors all service men and women who have served, are serving, or will serve in the armed forces of the United States. The dedication is open to the public.National Garden Clubs, Inc., is the largest volunteer gardening organization in the world. Its Blue Star Memorial Program began in 1944 when the New Jersey Council of Garden Clubs planted 8,000 dogwood trees as a living memorial to the veterans of World War II.In 1945, the then-named National Council of State Garden Clubs adopted the program and began a Blue Star Highway system marked by large Blue Star Memorial Highway Markers over thousands of miles across the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii. Since then the program has expanded to included Blue Star Memorial Markers and By-Way Markers at national cemeteries, parks, veterans' facilities, gardens and other locations.The dedication will take place during the annual convention of National Garden Clubs, Inc. For the first time, the convention is being held in the District of Columbia.Congressional Cemetery is the final resting place of many who have served in the armed forces of the United States from the Revolutionary War up to the War in Afghanistan. The cemetery was founded in 1807 and lies along the western bank of the Anacostia River. Though owned by Christ Church, the first Episcopal church in Washington Parish, the Washington Parish Burial Ground quickly become known as the “Congressional burying ground” or “national burying ground” because of the many grand funeral processions of prominent national figures.The cemetery was the first resting spot for many Washington notables, including three presidents and Dolley Madison, before being moved elsewhere for final burial. It is the final resting spot for a long list of luminaries including Vice President Elbridge Gerry, the Choctaw Chief Push-Ma-Ta-Ha who served with Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans, the first woman nominated for President Belva Lockwood; the March King John Philip Sousa and the first director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation J. Edgar Hoover.The cemetery is operated by the Association for the Preservation of Historic Congressional Cemetery.

 

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