WELCOME TO BLUE STAR SALUTE OF ALABAMA
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|USS Alabama Memorial Park
||South Alabama Veterans Council
||City of Mobile
L-R: Marshall Goggins; Ginger Branson; J. D. Crawford; Glenn Nivens; Patricia McBride; Mel Shinholster; Don Fisher; Karen Fisher; Rachel Clinkscale; Jim Jeffries; Paula Edmondson & Ron Haygood
Blue Star Salute of Alabama
is a concerted effort by local, state and national military, political, veteran and caring citizen groups and organizations and sets aside a day for particularly significant appreciation and honors for America’s military… (active, reserves and national guard), of all branches: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Air Force and the historic US Merchant Marines. This includes a somber “Gold Star Salute” to those service members who have paid the ultimate price for America’s freedoms. Blue Star Salute Foundation also honors all those who are Veterans of such military service, supports each of Alabama’s four (4) State Veterans Homes (Huntsville, Pell City, Alexander City and Bay Minette), and actively supports and participates in the Annual Wreaths Across America program on the second Saturday of each December at the Alabama National Cemetery, Montevallo.
HISTORY OF THE BLUE STAR AND GOLD STAR SERVICE BANNERS…….The Tradition Continues:
A Blue Star Service Banner displayed in the window of a family home is a long tradition in America. The Banner lets others know that someone from this home is actively serving in the United States Armed Forces. As the “War Against Terrorism” continues, this Blue Star Service Banner reminds us all that this war touches every neighborhood throughout our Land.
Early in America’s involvement in World War-I, the practice of drawing or sewing a Blue Star onto a white background and displaying that in a front window of a home, proudly announced to passers-by that aloved one was serving in the “War to End All Wars” and that those families took much pride in that Service. This led to the design and patent in 1917, of the Blue Star Banners that we know today, by WW-I Captain Robert L. Queissner of the 5th Ohio Infantry, who had two sons serving on the front lines.
On September 24, 1917 an Ohio Congressman read the following into the U.S. Congressional Record: “…The Mayor of Cleveland, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Governor of Ohio have adopted this Service Banner. The world should know of those who give so much for Liberty. The dearest thing in all theworld for a father and mother – their children.”
During WW-II, the U. S. Department of War issued specifications on the manufacture of the Banners as well as guidelines indicating when, and by whom the Service Banners would be displayed or the Service Lapel Button would be worn. The Banner can be seen hanging in the front window of Mrs. Ryan’s home in the movie, “Saving Private Ryan”. The Service Banner is an 8x14-inch white field with a blue star(s) and a red border. Today, Blue Star Service Banners are displayed by families who have a loved one serving in the Armed Forces, including activated members of the National Guard and Reserves, whether the family member is a son, daughter, brother, sister, wife, husband, cousin, grandchild, etc.Displayed in the front window of a home, the Banner shows a family’s pride in their loved one serving in the military, and reminds others that preserving America’s freedoms demands so very much!
One Blue Star represents one family member serving in the Armed Forces. The Banners can have up to four (4) stars, signifying that four members of that family are serving simultaneously in military uniform on Active Duty.Sadly, war causes death!...When the Blue Star is replaced by a Gold Star, that signifies the “hostile-fire”death of a family member of that household.Blue Star Service Banners, while widely used across America during WW-I and II, but were not so enthusiastically embraced during the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
The American Legion and The National Society, Sons of the American Revolution rekindled the tradition and spirit of pride in our military men and women following the horrific terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Our BLUE STAR SALUTE FOUNDATION, Inc.,seeks to provide families of all military service members a Blue Star Service Banner to prominently display in their Honor for all to see.
SUPPORT OF THIS PROJECT IS APPRECIATED!
US Congressman Spencer Bachus is presented Blue Star Banners
L-R: Michael Staley, Deputy Chief of Staff for M/C Bachus; R. Glenn Nivens, Secretary & Agent, BSSFI; Spencer Bachus, US Congressman, Al 6th District; Paul Sims, Board Member, BSSFI. Photo courtesy of Caleb Goodwyn, B'ham Fld Rep M/C Bachus.
13th Sept 2007 - US Congressman Spencer Bachus is presented Blue Star Banners which he plans to display in his Washington, DC and Birmingham offices. Congressman Bachus intends to exhibit these banners to publicly express his honor and respect for all those constituents and constituent family members who are serving worldwide in the military services, and, in honor of his son who is in the US Marine Corps Reserve.
Blue Star Salute Foundation appreciates very much the interest and support of Congressman Bachus and his staff for proclaiming publicly and collectively that "WE HONOR THOSE WHO SERVE"!
Alabama's Blue Star Salute Foundation Supports
State Veterans Homes
L-R. RADM W. Clyde Marsh, USN (Ret) Executive Commissioner, ADVA, Ms. Kimberly Justice, Veterans Homes Cordinator; Bill Wyatt, American Legion, BSSFI and board member of ADVA; Rachel Clinkscale, BSSFI and Gold Star Wives of America, Inc; R. Glenn Nivens, ALSSAR, Agent and Secretary BSSFI.
(Photo Courtesy of Michael Northcutt, Asst Com ADVA)
ALABAMA'S BLUE STAR SALUTE FOUNDATION SUPPORTS STATE VETERANS HOMES. Leaders of Alabama's Blue Star Salute Foundation presents donations to the State Veterans Affairs Executive Committee in support of the three State VA Homes located in Mobile, Huntsville and Alexander City. Blue Star Salute Foundation is a "Partners in Patriotism" led by the ALSSAR, American Legion, Gold Star Wives & Mothers and The American Village of Montevallo which promotes an annual state-wide salute to America's military service personnel, veterans and a special Gold Star Salute to "Fallen Heroes".
VA Rehabiliation Print Clinic
Blue Star Salute Foundation visited the Tuscaloosa VA Rehabiliation Print Clinic on June 27, 2011 and presented an appreication plaque to the Center Director and Mrs. Sharron Muller for their ongoing support of Foundation's activities.
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National Veterans Day donation presentation
Shown L-R: Glenn Nivens; Jim Holt; Rachel Clinkscale & Mark Ryan.
Glenn Nivens and Rachel Clinkscale along with several other officers and members of Blue Star Salute Foundation attended a planning session of the NEW 64th Annual National Veterans Day in Birmingham Committee and became contributing "sponsors" for this newly staffed Committee to "revive & regenerate" our local Birmingham National Veterans program.
The previous President COL Bill Voigt, USAFR(Ret), had served over 20 years in leading the local program. Bill suffered a serious heart attack about the time of the 2010 National Veterans Day program and was forced into retirement. Throughout prior years, numerous members of BSSFI had worked both with COL Bill Voigt and the actual "founder" of National Veterans Day, The Honorable Raymond Weeks, who in 1947 led an Alabama Legislative Delegation to D.C., and persuaded (then) Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Dwight David Eisenhower to consider amending "Armistice Day" (observed at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month) to become "Veterans Day" to honor ALL Veterans of ALL Wars. Thus, the first "National Veterans Day" was celebrated in Birmingham on 11 Noverber 1947; then, in 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the Congress of the United States of America, formally redesignated the title of National Veterans Day. Raymond Weeks died in about 1983 and was succeeded by COL Bill Voigt.
Jim Holt and Mark Ryan of Homewood Alabama's CSC Roofing Company have volunteered to assume Co-Chairmen and coordinate the continuation/revival of America's Oldest and Largest National Veterans Day events on 10 & 11 November annually. For more information visit www.nationalveteransday.org