Photo courtesy of the St. Clair Shores Historical Commission

Looking Back: Blue Star Mothers War Memorial in St. Clair Shores

St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published June 17, 2019


ST. CLAIR SHORES — The Blue Star Mothers of America were organized in Flint, Michigan, on Feb. 2, 1942, as a patriotic service organization in response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Admission was open to any woman who had a son or daughter in the armed forces. The goals of the organization were to work on legislation, hospital care, rehabilitation, community service and child welfare. Shortly after the national organization was formed, state and local chapters were founded.

The Blue Star Mothers of St. Clair Shores was Chapter 21. Among other projects, the local Blue Star Mothers raised funds toward the erection of a monument to honor those from the area who were serving in the military.

That World War II monument is pictured here, with Mrs. Glenn Youngs, the Blue Star Mothers president in 1947, to the immediate left of the memorial. To the right of the memorial is Mrs. William Ehlow, the first St. Clair Shores Blue Star Mothers president and chair. The memorial was located at 27705 Jefferson Ave. (the northwest corner of Jefferson and 11 Mile Road) in front of the St. Clair Shores City Hall and Police Department (from 1935 to 1962). Currently, the 40th District Court occupies the property.

The monument project was conceived in 1942. The first deposit into the account for it was made in February 1943, in the amount of $8.50. The monument was dedicated on June 29, 1947. It was designed by Brown and Raisch Co. of Detroit. The granite base was inscribed on the front with the names of 33 St. Clair Shores men who died in World War II. On the reverse was a prayer for those who had served in the war and returned home. On the top of the monument was a bronze bowl that concealed a floodlight, which turned on with the streetlights at night and switched off in the morning. A somewhat modified monument can be seen today at Veterans Memorial Park, 32400 Jefferson Ave.

The St. Clair Shores chapter of the Blue Star Mothers was active through the 1950s.

— Submitted by Heidi Christein, archivist, St. Clair Shores Public Library