What do Gold Stars represent to a military family? We can trace this special emblem back to World War I. If a military member of a family died, a flag that had been flown with a blue star was replaced with a gold one. This allowed the world to know the price that this family had paid for the freedom we enjoy today.
The observance of the Gold Star Mothers Day began in 1936 on the last Sunday of September. It was not until World War II that the Gold Star Wives was formed. Wives could then wear a Gold Star Lapel Button. All members of the family can be recognized today as a Gold Star Family. This is why the Army believes that no one has given more to our country than those who have lost a loved one to war.
In 1954, an American Gold Star Mothers Headquarters was purchased in Washington, D.C. near the Lincoln and Vietnam Memorials, containing the records of all deceased soldiers from World War I, World War II, the Korean conflict, Vietnam War and now the Iraq War.
On June 12, 1984, The American Gold Star Mothers received their charter which reads:
- Keep alive and develop the spirit that promoted world services
- Maintain the ties of fellowship born of that service, and to assist and further all patriotic work
- Inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, State, and Nation
- Assist veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, Vietnam and other strategic areas and their dependents in the presentation of claims to the Veterans’ Administration, and to aid in any way in their power the men and women who served and died or were wounded or incapacitated during hostilities.
- Perpetuate the memory of those whose lives were sacrificed in our wars
- Maintain true allegiance to the United States of America
- Inculcate lessons of patriotism and love of country in the communities in which we live
- Inspire respect for the Stars and Stripes in the youth of America
- Extend needful assistance to all Gold Star Mothers and, when possible, to their descendants
- To promote peace and good will for the United States and all other Nations.
More recently, 2008, the Gold Star Children, a non-profit organization, was founded to raise awareness about children whose mothers or fathers were killed or died while serving in the United States military. We would like to introduce you to one of these American children… Miles Eckerd and his gift to Lt. Colonel Frank Daily, who experienced a “new direction in life” from this small child…a Gold Star Kid.
The video below, shown on CBS News, will help all of us to understand the loss and grief that happens when just one soldier dies and leaves their family behind. Blessings to them all.
Turn on sound.