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September 25th - Gold Star Mothers Day

Gold Star Mothers Day


September 25th is the last Sunday in September and a majority of Americans and Texans will think of it as just another Sunday. They will go to church, eat some lunch, watch football and enjoy the beginning of fall.  But for some, the last Sunday in September is a more somber and meaningful day, because the last Sunday in September is Gold Star Mothers Day.


Since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, more Americans and Texans have become aware of Gold Star Mothers, however, they are still a relatively anonymous group of women. 


During World War I, a tradition in the United States started where families would fly service flags in front of their homes if they had a family member serving in combat.  The service flag had a blue star in the middle of it – or two or three stars depending on the number of children serving in the military at the time.  These mothers were known as Blue Star Mothers.  Sadly, if one of their children died during the war, the blue star was replaced with a gold star, thus the Blue Star Mother became a Gold Star Mother. 


In 1928, a group of Gold Star Mothers got together and formed a charter under the name American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.  This organization is still around today with local chapters all across the country.  They offer up support to families who have lost a child during a war and they volunteer at veterans hospitals around the country. 


On Veterans Day 2001, the Texas State Cemetery was honored to dedicate and commemorate the Gold Star Mothers of Texas with a gray stone monument. It was dedicated by Governor Rick Perry and many Gold Star Mothers, elected officials, military dignitaries, and Medal of Honor recipients attended the ceremony.  Since this ceremony, the Cemetery has dedicated many other monuments, but to me, no other ceremony has been as special as that one. Several Gold Star Mothers spoke at the dedication and at the end of the ceremony there was not a dry eye in the audience. The somberness of the occasion was only heightened in the aftermath of September 11th terrorist attacks. It was a special and proud day for the Cemetery.


Throughout the years, the Gold Star Mothers monument has stood out as a reminder of the tremendous loss that a mother faces when her child or children have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.  Next time you see a gold star flying in the front of a neighbor’s house or as a decal on the back of car; take a moment to remember their loss. If you happen to come by the Cemetery this Sunday, you will see a white flag flying in honor of the Gold Star Mothers, see their monument and take a moment to remember it’s not just another Sunday.