March 12, 2007

Blue Star banners presented to area service families

By Linda Scherer
Staff Writer

With a sense of great pride, parents with children serving in the military received a Blue Star Service Banner at the American Legion in Winsted Wednesday evening. It is a tradition that first began in World War I.

The banner is displayed in homes of families who have children serving in the military, and acknowledge brave men and women away from home defending the freedom of all Americans.

Commander of the Winsted American Legion Post 407 Jeff Sterner and Auxiliary President Helen Yaeger presented the banners.

Chip Guggemos, Post 407 adjutant, began the program by recognizing and honoring the sacrifices of local families who have a loved one in active service.

“We wish to publicly thank you and your child in uniform for your sacrifice, and to extend our love and support as many of our members have walked a similar road,” Guggemos said.

Before the presentations were made, Guggemos gave some history on the banners.

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.

During World War II, the Department of War issued specifications on the manufacture of the flag, as well as guidelines indicating when and by whom the service flag could be flown.

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 much.

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