The Desert Pointe Garden is now taking orders for pavers at the Ahwatukee Blue Star Memorial to be engraved with the name and if desired, military branch logo of a veteran.
Veterans can order one with their name. Any order received by the club before Oct. 1 will be engraved and installed by Veterans Day. The memorial is located at Ahwatukee Park on Warner Road and 48th Street.
The memorial is a local legacy of a national tradition dating back to the end of World War II, when the National Council of State Garden Clubs wanted a way to honor those who served.
A 1,000 dogwood trees were planted along a stretch of highway in New Jersey as a living memorial to those who served.
The project was named after the blue star which hung in the windows of homes and businesses during the war, honoring those who were serving overseas.
As time went on, the project became larger. Signs designating freeways as Blue Star Memorial Highways were posted across the U.S. Later a smaller marker was developed to dedicate parks, gardens, museums, cemeteries and other appropriate civic locations.
In 1951 the mission of the project expanded to include honoring not only WWII veterans, but any veteran.
Ahwatukee is a national memorial site.
The Ahwatukee memorial was installed in 2012, the realization of a suggestion made by a Desert Pointe Garden Club member, Judy Tolbert, an Ahwatukee resident and former U.S. Army medical technician.
At the time, the club did not have enough funds and could not afford the memorial, but members hosted garage sales and other fundraisers.
Modern Woodmen offered a matching fund grant to help pay for the project and the Ahwatukee Board of Management offered a location as well as in-kind labor.
The marker was placed in a raised flower bed in the center of a 20-foot-by-20-foot patio just outside the baseball field at ABM, 4700 E. Warner Road.
The pavers are installed on the surrounding patio.
All money raised from the pavers goes to Desert Pointe Garden Club for future charitable endeavors. As a rule, the club must spend all funds on charity.
“We’ve had such support from everybody,” Tolbert said, “at the time the memorial drive started seven years ago. Everyone has just been so enthused. We had a board member offer to create the display and we’ve had all the items loaned to us. I started out just wanting to do a little memorial, and now we’ve gotten so much support.”
All branches of the military are represented on the pavers.
Order forms are available at the Ahwatukee Board of Management office at 4700 East Warner Rd and at ahwatukeehoa.com.