Blue Star Salute will honor Alabamas service members: Annual event back at American Village

Shelby County residents will have the chance Memorial Day to honor the brave men and women who have died for this country and thank those who serve today.

The third annual Alabama Blue Star Salute will be held Monday, May 28, at the American Village in Montevallo.

&8220;The salute is a great opportunity for Alabamians to personally thank our Armed Forces and to enjoy a day of patriotic activities,&8221; said retired Lt. Col. Robert Nivens, who helped coordinate the program.

The salute will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature a full day of events.

Activities kick off that morning with an opening ceremony and military flyover at 10:30.

Also planned are displays of vintage and modern military vehicles, a special concert by the Alabama Army National Guard&8217;s 151st Army Band and speeches from state and national dignitaries.

There will also be a fully operational WWII-inspired canteen with 1940s music and food vendors.

At 2:30 p.m., a &8220;Gold Star Salute&8221; at the village&8217;s Colonial Chapel will honor Alabama&8217;s fallen military personnel since 9-11.

The Blue Star Salute&8217;s name is derived from a tradition of military families from WWI and WWII. A bed sheet painted with a blue star was often hung from windows in honor of a family member overseas.

The American Village, American Legion, Gold Star Wives and Mothers, and the Alabama Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution are all co-hosts.

The salute is back at the American Village this year, after being moved to the Shelby County airport in 2006. Renovations and other projects at the village forced the change of venue last year.

For more information, visit www.bluestarsalute.org