Blue Star Memorials

A large Memorial Marker

The By-Way Marker in the
Village Square

The Blue Star Memorial Program honors men and women who serve our country in military service. The Blue Star became an icon in World War II and was seen on flags and banners in homes, churches and businesses for sons and daughters at war. This program began with the planting of 8,000 Dogwood trees by the New Jersey Council of Garden Clubs in 1944 as a living memorial to veterans of World War II.

In 1945, National Garden Clubs, Inc. adopted the program and began a Blue Star Highway system, which covers thousands of miles across the Continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii. Large metal Blue Star Memorial Highway Markers are still being placed at appropriate locations along our roadways. There are now three (3) types of Memorial Markers, all are a tribute to the men and women in the armed forces who have served, are presently serving and will serve in the future.
  • The large Blue Star Highway Memorial Markers are placed only on dedicated highways.
  • A second large Memorial Marker, minus the word “highway,”was approved in 1996 for dedication at National Cemeteries or V.A. Medical Facilities.
  • The Blue Star Memorial By-Way Marker, approved in 1994, is for placement in parks, historic sites and civic areas. It bears the words, “A Tribute to the Armed Forces of America.” Markers may not bear an individual’s name. In 2004 the addition of state veterans homes and selected cemeteries where veterans are buried was approved for memorial markers.
In 1947 California Garden Clubs, Inc. adopted the program and highways 40 and 99 were dedicated. These markers can only be placed on highways that have been dedicated with a resolution through the state assembly. The first five markers were dedicated in 1948.
  • There are now 18 dedicated highways within the state with more than 50 highway markers.  
  • There are over 200 total highway and by-way markers in California
  • There are 16 memorials in Palomar District (San Diego County):
    • Memorial Markers:
      • Aliso Creek (I-5 S-bound rest area, 5.8 miles N of Oceanside) - Palomar District
      • S-W International Border (I-5 S-bound at San Ysidro Border Crossing) - Palomar District
      • San Diego (I-8 E-bound, Hotel Circle exit, W 4/10 mi on Taylor) - Pacific Beach GC
      • San Diego (Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery) - Point Loma GC
      • San Diego (Miramar National Cemetery) - Palomar District
    • By-way Markers:
      • Chula Vista (Rohr Park) - Bonita Valley GC
      • Chula Vista (Serenity Garden, Veteran’s Park) - Chula Vista GC
      • Chula Vista (Veteran’s Elementary School) - Chula Vista GC
      • Encinitas Scripps Memorial Hospital - San Dieguito GC
      • Fallbrook (Village Square) - Fallbrook GC
      • La Jolla (VA Med Ctr, La Jolla Village Dr. W of I-5, at main entry) - Palomar District
      • Lakeside (Lindo Lake Park, 12824 Lakeshore Drive) - Lakeside GC
      • Ramona (Collier Park, 626 E Street) - Ramona GC
      • Poway (Lake Poway) - Poway Valley GC
      • Valley Center (Adams Park, 28741 Cole Grade Road on fountain) - Dos Valles GC
      • Vista (Brengle Terrace Park, 1200 Vale Terrace Drive) - Vista G
    • Small Marker:
      • Imperial Beach (Marina Vista Park, 800 Imperial Beach Avenue)