A Blue Star Banner Ceremony was held recently at the American Legion Harry J. Conway Post 135 in Sabattus. The Blue Star Banner is presented to families with members serving in the United States Military. Nine families from the local area received banners, along with American Legion Certificates of Recognition, in honor of their serving family member.
The Blue Star Service Banner was designed and patented in 1917 by World War I Army Capt. Robert L. Queissner of the 5th Ohio Infantry, who had two sons serving on the front line. It quickly became the unofficial symbol of a child in the service.
Today, Blue Star Service Banners are displayed by families who have a loved one serving in the armed forces, including the National Guard and Reserves of all military departments. The banner displayed in the front window of a home shows a family’s pride in their loved one serving in the military and reminds others that preserving America’s freedom demands great sacrifice. The banner can be displayed by businesses and organizations as well.
The blue star represents one family member serving in the armed forces. A banner can have up to five stars, signifying that five members of that family are currently in military uniform on active duty. If the individual symbolized is killed or dies while serving, the star representing that individual will have superimposed upon it a gold star of smaller size, so that the blue forms a border.
Blue Star Mothers and Gold Star Mothers organizations were established during World War II and remain active today. As the “War on Terrorism” continues, the Blue Star Service Banner tradition reminds us all that this new war touches every neighborhood across the land.