FAIRFIELD — The Grover Hinkley American Legion Post 14 recently presented with Blue Star Banners to the families of Spc. Jessica Triall, Pvt. Curtis J. S. Dow, Pfc. Patrick Dow and Pfc. Cory Grard.

Triall, from Fairfield, is the daughter of Mark Triall and Carmen Wilkinson. Curtis J.S. Dow, from Albion, is the son of Todd and Amanda Dow and is married to Kati Dow. Patrick Dow, from South China, is the son of George and Linda Dow and is married to Renee Dow. Grard, of Clinton, is the son of Rich Grard and Debbie Remers.

According to a press release, the Banner was designed and patented in 1917 by World War I Army Capt. Robert L. Queisser of the 5th Ohio Infantry. Queisser’s two sons served on the front line. His banner quickly became the unofficial symbol for parents with a child in active military service.

On Sept. 24, 1917, an Ohio congressman read the following in the Congregational Record: “The mayor of Cleveland, the Chamber of Commerce and the governor of Ohio have adopted this service flag. The world should know of those who give so much for liberty. The dearest thing in the world to a father and mother: their children.” Blue Star Mothers and Gold Stars Mothers organizations were established during World War I and remain active today.

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

The Blue Star Service Banner is an 8.5 by 14 inch white field with one or more blue stars sewn in the red banner. The size varies but should be in proportion to the United States flag. Today, families display these banners when they have a loved one serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. The blue star represents one family member serving, and a banner can have up to five stars. If the individual is killed or dies, smaller golden star is placed over it. Gold stars are placed above the blue stars or on the top right of the flag, in the event a flag represents multiple service members.

Blue Star Service Banners were widely used during both world wars, but were not embraced during the Korean or Vietnam wars with the same enthusiasm. The American Legion rekindled that spirit of pride in our military men and women following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by providing banners to military families across the nation.

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