An effort to place a Blue Star Memorial marker on the Missouri Capitol grounds has stalled.
The Federated Garden Clubs of Missouri approached the Capitol Commission two years ago about placing a Blue Star Memorial marker in green space near West Capitol Avenue.
A Blue Star Memorial, which honors all members of the armed services, traditionally is cast in metal with a blue star at the top. The memorial notes the service members it honors, as well as the memorial's sponsors.
Jeanne Schwaller, a local member of the Federated Garden Clubs, said they were asked at that time to wait until renovations to the Capitol were complete, a multi-year project that wrapped up in January.
She said she renewed the effort to place a Blue Star Memorial on the Capitol grounds in October and has been working with Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe on the project.
Schwaller said the idea is the memorial would serve as something like a bookend to the Capitol circle with a Gold Star Memorial marker on the west side.
"(The Blue Star Memorial) is an honor for every person who has served," she said. "A Gold Star is for a person who has passed away (while in the armed services)."
The Gold Star Memorial was placed in 2017 and sponsored by the Federated Garden Clubs. It sports a similar design to the Blue Star Memorial but with a gold star at the top.
At this time, the Blue Star Memorial project has not been considered by the Capitol Commission, which would need to approve its placement.
"I am privileged to be involved with the Blue Star Memorial and other veterans-related projects," Kehoe said. "I look forward to working with elected officials and the Capitol Commission on this project."
Schwaller said she's hopeful the Blue Star Memorial will be approved at some point, but she expects it to be a little while. She's considering the project on hold.
Jefferson City has six Blue Star Memorial markers, she said, mostly located in parks.
Schwaller and the Federated Garden Clubs of Missouri received permission from the Jefferson City Council last week to place a Blue Star Memorial in the 100 block of Madison Street. She made the request as another option for the Federated Garden Clubs of Missouri since the goal was to put up the marker during the state's bicentennial celebration in August. That location would be close to the Capitol grounds, she explained.
However, when the Federated Garden Clubs of Missouri met last week, members insisted on the originally planned location, Schwaller said.
"The reason the Federated Garden Clubs didn't want to place another Blue Star marker in a city park is because we have one in Memorial Park and one in McClung Park in Jefferson City already, and then the original Blue Star marker is in Washington Park," she said. "The state Garden Club has decided that they will not fund a Blue Star Memorial in that park; it has to be on the Capitol grounds."
The memorials take several months to produce and cost around $2,000, which the clubs would pay for, Schwaller said.
If approved in the future, Schwaller said, Missouri would be the only state with a Gold Star and a Blue Star marker at its capitol.