|Blue Star byway dedication May 17 at Perrysburg's Riverside Garden|
|Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff|
|Saturday, 12 April 2014 08:16|
PERRYSBURG - A new Blue Star Byway Marker is being installed at Riverside Garden on Front Street, overlooking the Maumee River.
Perrysburg Garden Club will be hosting a program to dedicate the marker on Armed Forces Day, May 17, at 1:30 p.m. The program is open to the public.
The speaker for the program will be Col. Kip B. Turain, the son of Perrysburg residents Robert and Mary Turain.
Turain is director of operations and plans for the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. It is the Air Force's Center of Excellence for advanced expeditionary combat support training and education.
Blue Star was begun in 1944 to honor past, present and future military members, as a living memorial to veterans of World War II.
The Blue Star became an icon during that war, when it was seen on flags and banners in homes for sons and daughters away at war, as well as in churches and businesses. This program has remained active all through the decades since then, and continues so today.
In 1945, the National Council of State Garden Clubs adopted the program and began a Blue Star Highway System, which covers thousands of miles across the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii.
A large metal Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker was placed at appropriate locations along the way.
The program was expanded to include all who had served, were serving or would serve in the U.S. armed services. Memorial markers and by-way markers were added to the highway markers, to be used at locations such as national cemeteries, parks, veteran's facilities and gardens.
The Perrysburg Garden Club is accepting donations in honor of, or in memory of, military personnel.
This fund will be used to purchase benches adjacent to the Front Street garden so visitors and residents may sit and enjoy the view of the marker and the river, and take time to reflect.
Donations may be mailed to Perrysburg Garden Club, P.O. Box 1326, Perrysburg, OH 43552.
Those making an "in honor of" or "in memory of" dedication should include the service members' names and branch of service. These names will be listed in the program.
Turain, the speaker for the May 17 dedication, is a 1988 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy who holds the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star, among other major awards. He was promoted to colonel in 2008.
In his current position, Turain leads the operations and plans staff to assess and monitor day-to-day, exercise and crisis operations of the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center's 14,000 airmen and assets at six wings and two groups. Prior to this assignment, he was a wing commander at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
His parents, Bob and Mary Turain, are themselves both Air Force veterans who moved to Perrysburg after retiring from the service in the mid-1970s.
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