The Blue Star Mothers of America Lake Erie Chapter 4 will be hosting their second annual Gold Star Memorial at the Jamestown Veterans Memorial Park at West Third Street and Harding Avenue on Saturday at 10 a.m.
Last May, the Blue Star Mothers held a memorial honoring the seven Chautauqua County native veterans who died during the time of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
This year, the Blue Star Mothers will be paying tribute to more service members from the area, honoring those currently serving and presenting Gold Star Banners to the families of two veterans who lost their lives in conflicts prior to 2011. Among those taking part in the commemoration are state Sen. Cathy Young, Assemblyman Andy Goodell and Mayor Sam Teresi, who will be speaking in honor of the service members.
The ceremony additionally will include a 21-gun salute by the Vietnam Veterans of America, a flagline by the Patriot Guard Riders, and the releasing of balloons in honor of the 11 total Gold Star veterans of Chautauqua County, with each balloon released representing an area native who has sacrificed his or her life in the line of duty.
A keynote address will be given by Ronald Cotten, Jamestown Veterans Memorial Park commissioner.
The event will take place among the seven cherry trees planted last year by the Blue Star Mothers along West Third Street in honor of the seven Chautauqua County veterans who have died since 2011. This year's ceremony represents the establishment of the Gold Star Memorial as a service to be held annually, giving the community an opportunity to continue to pay tribute to the local men and women who gave their time and lives to the service of their country as well as to the families of service members who continue to share in these sacrifices.