CONTACT: Renee Vid Colborn
Phone: 717-831-7507

June 17, 2014
Pa. Turnpike Becomes an Official Blue Star Highway

Blue Star Dedication Ceremony to be held at Highspire Service Plaza.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) is proud to announce that the entire Turnpike system is now a dedicated Blue Star Highway. The dedication means the Pa. Turnpike has visible markers along the entire system honoring the U.S. armed forces. The markers, which can be found in the garden area at all 17 service plazas along the Turnpike, are part of a program started by the National Council of State Garden Clubs, now known as National Garden Clubs Inc., after World War II to honor service men and women.

The official dedication ceremony took place at Highspire Service Plaza located in Dauphin County at milepost 249 eastbound on the Pa. Turnpike. The Harrisburg Area Civic Garden Center Inc., an affiliate member of the National Garden Clubs Inc. and The Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania, coordinated the ceremony and purchased the marker.  

"We are honored and proud to be given this dedication," stated Turnpike CEO, Mark Compton. "Being a Blue Star Highway is just one way to show our appreciation to U.S. service men and women. The PTC employs a number of veterans and reservists, whose efforts do not go unnoticed."  

The PTC holds a benefit each year to honor and help a veteran injured during service to their country. 

This year, retired Marine Sergeant John Peck who was severely injured by an IED during his second tour in Afghanistan, was recognized. The injury left Sergeant Peck a quadruple amputee. He also suffered a traumatic brain injury that nearly killed him and resulted in severe memory loss.

Proceeds from a turnpike employee association golf outing and silent auction held earlier this month totaled more than $8,000. The check was presented to Sergeant Peck by Compton during the Blue Star ceremony.

In addition to today's marker dedication, a Blue Star marker was also unveiled at the newly renovated Peter J. Camiel Service Plaza located in Chester County at milepost 304 westbound. This marker was funded by a financial award from the NGC Inc. Sage and Roses Fund, a National Garden Clubs, Inc. project.

For more information about turnpike service plazas, visit the Pa. Turnpike website at to download a free Service Plaza reference booklet.