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Dedication ceremony held for Blue Star Memorial marker to honor military

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TRENT WOODS, Craven County - A Blue Star Memorial marker was dedicated Friday in a ceremony by the Trent Woods Garden Club.

The marker honors the men and women who are serving and have served in the armed forces.

Veterans watched proudly as the 91st Blue Star Memorial highway marker in our state was unveiled.

"Makes me proud to have worn the uniform," said Marine Corps veteran Owen Smith.

It has a special meaning in Eastern North Carolina, where so many veterans call home. Since World War II, the Blue Star has served as a symbol that a son or daughter was serving in the military.

"It's a very patriotic part of the country and we don't take for granted some of the things that we can do," said Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Tom Braaten. "We all enjoy hunting or fishing or walking around the neighborhood or gathering like this or picking whatever church we want and we know why we can do that."

It's a symbol Owen and others are proud to display.

"I have a Blue Star on my door because my oldest son is serving on active duty," Smith said.

In 1946, Garden Clubs across the country adopted the symbol for these markers, hoping to remind those of the ones who fight for our freedom.

"I'm hoping that they are going to think about the armed forces and to realize that its very important to acknowledge them, to keep them in your prayers and thoughts," said State Blue Star Highway Chairperson Paula Hartman.

"If our veterans hadn't served from the Revolutionary War to present, we wouldn't have a country, it's that simple," Smith said.

During the ceremony, they also honored the 100th anniversary of World War I by passing out poppy seeds in the hopes that people will plant them as little reminders of the bravery of those veterans.

The Trent Woods Garden Club also has plans toward putting up another marker in the National Cemetery in downtown New Bern.

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