In honor of Veterans Day, Camden Garden Club members spruced up the Blue Star Memorial on Route 1 in Rockport Nov. 5, adding a red, white and blue bow to the support post and 10 American flags at the base.

Club members Karen Cease, Jennifer Gromada, Cindy Grondahl and Vicki Mast weeded, pruned and cleared debris from the area surrounding the marker, before adding the bow and flags.

Five years ago, former Camden Garden Club President Ann Vanosdol brought the unkempt appearance of the marker to the attention of the club. At that point, she and her husband Ron, an Air Force veteran with 32 years of active and reserve service, began a major cleanup effort, and have cared for the memorial every year since.

The Vanosdol's currently have one grandson in the Navy and one in the Air Force, making the significance of the memorial personal. The garden club is grateful to them for their dedication to this project and the example they have set for the new caretakers.

The National Council of State Garden Clubs, now known as National Garden Clubs Inc., started the Blue Star Memorial Highways program in 1945 to pay tribute to the U.S. Armed Forces. The program covers thousands of miles across the U.S. The Blue Star was adopted because it had become a patriotic symbol on flags and banners during World War II.

There are currently 30 markers in Maine, including one at the Knox Museum in Thomaston. The Rockport marker was installed by the Glen Cove Garden Club on Feb. 6, 1967.

Camden Garden Club is a member of the Garden Club Federation of Maine and National Garden Clubs, Inc. For more information about the club and its activities visit camdengardenclub.org or contact camdengardenclub100@gmail.com.