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Memorial garden, marker dedicated at Fenton History Center

P-J photo by Eric Tichy The Blue Star Memorial Garden and Marker were dedicated Saturday outside the Fenton History Center. The project was a collaboration between the history center, Master Gardeners, the local chapter of Blue Star Mothers and the city Parks Department.

A place to relax and reflect while recognizing those who have served their country has opened outside the Fenton History Center in Jamestown.

In a collaboration that included the center, Master Gardeners, the local chapter of Blue Star Mothers, the city Parks Department and a host of volunteers, the Blue Star Memorial Garden and Marker were dedicated Saturday. The ceremony, fittingly as many who spoke noted, occurred on Armed Forces Day.

“We honor all who are currently serving. Today is all about them,” said Susan Rowley, president of NY4 Blue Star Mothers and who served as master of ceremonies.

The keynote speaker was Greg Carlson, county Veterans Services director. He acknowledged in attendance fellow veterans and the fathers of sons and daughters serving in the military. However, most of his comments were directed at the “dear sweet moms who are here today.”

For those currently serving, Carlson said, “You have no bigger advocate; you have no bigger cheerleader; nobody worries about you quite like your mother does.”

Jane Babinsky, Fenton History Center executive director, provided the history of the Blue Star Memorial markers. At the Fenton History Center, the new marker reads: “A tribute to the Armed Forces who have defended the United States of America.”

In addition to honoring the different branches of the U.S. military, the memorial garden also features a weather-resistant bench resulting from a recycling fundraiser.

Several local and state officials made brief remarks during Saturday’s ceremony.

State Sen. George Borrello, R-Sunset Bay: “The world has become a more volatile place, and it’s good to know that we have those who will stand up for our nation, for freedom around the world. That’s what we celebrate here today. That’s what this garden is about, and that’s what this nation is about.”

State Assemblyman Andy Goodell, R-Jamestown: “We’re here honoring all the men and women who are serving in all of our Armed Forces. It’s especially appropriate that this garden is sponsored by the Blue Star moms because the Blue Star moms know exactly what it means to have a son or daughter in the service today.”

Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel: “This gives them a small space to come out and relax and reflect and maybe take in a little time and honor their children as they’re serving.”

Jamestown Mayor Kim Ecklund: “The Blue Star Garden and plaque serve as symbols of our gratitude and appreciation for the sacrifices made by our currently serving military personnel and their families. They epitomize their unwavering dedication, courage and selflessness in safeguarding our freedoms and protecting our nation’s values.”

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