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Published: Wednesday, 8/10/2011

Presentation in October set for Blue Star banners

Residents can apply to display symbol in window

BLADE STAFF

WAUSEON -- Blue Star Service Banners will be presented to family members from across northwest Ohio during a program organized in conjunction with the Wauseon American Legion Auxiliary Post 265 and the Wauseon VFW Auxiliary Post 7424.

Area residents, including those from Fulton, Lucas, Defiance, and Henry counties, who are interested in displaying Blue Star Service Banners in the windows of their homes are asked to contact Sherryann Franks, coordinating the fourth annual presentation, by Sept. 1.

The event has been set for 2 p.m. Oct. 9 in the VFW Hall on North Ottokee Street, Wauseon.

Nearly two dozen service banners have been presented to area families each year since the program began, Ms. Franks said, and four Gold Star Mothers have been honored as well.

"We pay tribute to the mothers who have lost a son or daughter in the service of our country," she said.

Two Gold Star Mothers will be honored during a special presentation as part of the Oct. 9 event.

Members of the American Legion Riders will participate in the program, and music will be performed by a bagpipe player, said Ms. Franks, Americanism chairman for the American Legion and VFW auxiliary posts in Wauseon,

For many years Ms. Franks of Wauseon has organized such events, and has coordinated other activities and projects related to the military members and veterans.

Presentation of service banners is an important part of her duties as Americanism chairman.

Service banners, an American tradition that dates to World War I, can be displayed in the windows of homes of residents who have sons, daughters, or spouses serving in the U.S. armed forces, said Ms. Franks.

To request the Blue or Gold Stars, which would be presented during the upcoming event, contact Ms. Franks at 419-335-6394.

"Anyone with a loved one in their immediate family who is serving in the military can display the Blue Star banners," she said." We will gladly honor the military personnel with the presentation of the banners to their families."

She said display of a Blue Star Service Banner in the front window of a home shows a family's pride in a loved one serving in the military and reminds people that war touches many communities across the country.

The banner was designed and patented in 1917 by Army Capt. Robert L. Queissner of the 5th Ohio Infantry in World War I, who had two sons serving on the front line. The banner soon became the unofficial symbol of a child in the armed services.

The Blue Star Service Banner is an 8 1/2-inch by 14-inch white field featuring a blue star on a red banner.



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