Legionnaires in central Indiana hosted the annual Blue Star Salute at O'Reilly Raceway Park on May 16. The Armed Forces Day celebration recognized and honored active-duty servicemembers and their families. More than 1,000 families received Blue Star Banners, which are displayed in the windows of homes to honor family members serving overseas.
Cheerleaders for the Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers, and the Indiana Ice Chill Girls greeted military families as they arrived, registered and moved into the grandstands. The cheerleaders were joined by mascots from the Colts, Pacers, Ice and Indianapolis Indians.
Also included were music entertainment, product and food vendors, and displays for the military services and the American Red Cross.
Five Hendricks County American Legion posts sponsored the event: Avon Post 145, Brownsburg Post 331, Danville Post 118, Pittsboro Post 426 and Plainfield Post 329. The American Legion Riders, Patriot Guard Riders, the U.S. Military Vets Motorcycle Club, Rolling Thunder and other patriotic motorcycle enthusiasts rode 40 miles through the five Legion post communities, eventually arriving at O'Reilly Raceway Park. Proceeds from the ride benefited The American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund for children of active-duty servicemembers killed since Sept. 11, 2001.
Families that received Blue Star Banners display them to demonstrate pride in their loved one's military service. It reminds others that preserving America's freedom demands strong commitment and sacrifice. Businesses and organizations can also display their own banners.
Those families with members serving in the U.S. military, regardless of their state of residence, who would like to be included in future Blue Star Salutes – as well as those who want to register for the motorcycle ride – should visit the Indiana Blue Star Salute Web site. www.hcbluestar.org