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A gold star represents a son or daughter who

died while serving the United States Armed Forces.

 

Gold Star Mother's Day

Gold Star Mother’s Day is observed in the United States on the last Sunday of September each year. It is a day for people to recognize and honor those who have lost a son or daughter while serving the United States Armed Forces.

Gold Star Mothers Club

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

The American Gold Star Mothers Inc. was formed in the United States shortly after World War I

to provide support for mothers who lost sons or daughters in the war. The name came from the

custom of families of servicemen hanging a banner called a Service Flag in the window of their

homes. The Service Flag had a star for each family member in the United States Armed

Forces. Living servicemen were represented by a blue star, and those who had lost their lives

were represented by a gold star. Gold Star Mothers are often socially active but are non-political.

Today, membership in the Gold Star Mothers is open to any American woman who has lost a son

or daughter in service to the United States. On the last Sunday in September, Gold Star

Mother's Day is observed in the U.S. in their honor.[1] The group holds a congressional charter

under Title 36 of the United States Code.

What do people do?

Each year on Gold Star Mother's Day the United States president calls on all Americans to display

the nation's flag and hold appropriate meetings to publicly express their love, sorrow, and

reverence towards Gold Star Mothers amd their families. Government buildings are also required

to display the flag.

American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. is an organization of mothers whose sons or daughters served and died while serving their nation in times of war or conflict. It organizes major events that take place on or around Gold Star Mother’s Day each year. Previous activities included a Gold Star flower wreath laying service, as well as an afternoon tour of President Lincoln’s cottage in Washington DC.

The last Sunday in September is also Parents of Fallen Military Sons and Daughters Day in New Jersey. This day is a tribute to all parents whose children died as a result of their service with the United States Armed Forces. It commemorates the contributions, commitments and sacrifices made by those parents individually and through the American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.

Public life

Gold Star Mother’s Day is not a designated public holiday in the United States so public life is not affected.

Background

The name the Gold Star Mothers was derived from the custom of military families who put a service flag near their front window. The flag featured a star for each family member serving in their country – living members were denoted in blue but gold stars honored family members who were killed while in duty. In 1918 President Woodrow Wilson approved the wearing of black arm bands bearing a gilt star by those who had a family member who died in the military service to the United States. This distinguished them from the blue stars, representing a family member presently serving in the armed forces.

American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. was incorporated in 1929, obtaining a federal charter from the US Congress. It began with 25 mothers living in the Washington DC area and soon expanded to include affiliated groups throughout the nation. On June 23, 1936, a joint congressional resolution designated the last Sunday in September as Gold Star Mother's Day, a holiday that has been observed each year by a presidential proclamation.

Founding

The Gold Star Mothers was founded by Grace Darling Seibold of Washington, D.C.[2]

When the United States entered World War I in 1917, George Vaughn Seibold, 23, volunteered, requesting assignment in aviation. He was sent to Canada where he learned to fly British planes since the United States had neither an air force nor planes. Deployed to England, he was assigned to the British Royal Flying Corps, 148th Aero Squadron. With his squadron, he left for combat duty in France. He corresponded with his family regularly. His mother, Grace Darling Seibold, began to do community service by visiting returning servicemen in the hospitals.

The mail from George stopped. Since all aviators were under British control and authority, the United States could not help the Seibold family with any information about their son.

Grace continued to visit hospitalized veterans in the Washington area, clinging to the hope that her son might have been injured and returned to the United States without any identification. While working through her sorrow, she helped ease the pain of the many servicemen who returned so war-damaged that they were incapable of ever reaching normalcy.

But on October 11, 1918, George's wife in Chicago received a box marked "Effects of deceased Officer 1st Lt. George Vaughn Seibold". The Seibolds also received a confirmation of George's death on November 4 through a family member in Paris.

On Sunday, December 15, 1918, nine days before Christmas Eve, the following obituary appeared in the Washington Star newspaper:

Lieut. G. V. Seibold Killed in Action

Battling Aviator, Recently Cited for Bravery in France, is War Victim.

Lieut. George Vaughn Seibold, battling aviator, cited for bravery in action some time ago, lost his life in a fight in the air August 26, last. His father, George G. Seibold…has been officially notified of his son's death by the War Department.

Lieut. Seibold was a member of the 148th U. S. Aero Squadron. He was first reported missing in action, though a number of circumstances led to the fear that he had been killed. Hope was sustained until now, however, by the failure to receive definite word.

George's body was never identified.

Grace, realizing that self-contained grief is self-destructive, devoted her time and efforts not only to working in the hospital but also to extending the hand of friendship to other mothers whose sons had lost their lives in military service.

She organized a group consisting solely of these special mothers, with the purpose of not only comforting each other, but giving loving care to hospitalized veterans confined in government hospitals far from home.

The organization was named after the Gold Star that families hung in their windows in honor of the deceased veteran.

After years of planning, June 4, 1928, twenty-five mothers met in Washington, DC to establish the national organization, American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.

On May 28, 1918, President Wilson approved a suggestion made by the Women's Committee of the Council of National Defenses that, instead of wearing conventional mourning for relatives who have died in the service of their country, American women should wear a black band on the left arm with a gilt star on the band for each member of the family who has given his life for the nation.

"The Service Flag displayed from homes, places of business, churches, schools, etc., to indicate the number of members of the family or organizations who are serving in the Armed Forces or who have died from such service. Service flags have a deep Blue Star for each living member in the service and a Gold Star for each member who has died." Thus, the Gold Star and the term Gold Star Mother, as applied to mothers whose sons or daughters died in World War I, were accepted; they have continued to be used in reference to all American military engagements since that time.

Today

Today, membership in the Gold Star Mothers is open to any American woman whose child has died in the line of duty of the United States Armed Forces. Stepmothers and adoptive mothers are eligible for membership under certain circumstances. Husbands and children of Gold Star Mothers are eligible to join as Associate Members.

Gold Star Mothers is made up of local chapters, which are organized into departments. Five members are required to start a local chapter. If no local chapter is available, a woman may join the organization as a member at large.

Just as when it was founded, the Gold Star Mothers continues to concentrate on providing emotional support to its members, doing volunteer work with veterans in general and veterans' hospitals in particular, and generally fostering a sense of patriotism and respect for members of the Armed Forces.

For the first 77 years of its existence, Gold Star Mothers banned non-citizens from membership, most notably rejecting the application of Ligaya Lagman, a Filipino, whose son Anthony was killed in 2004 while serving in Afghanistan.[4] In early September 2005, Gold Star Mothers accepted its first non-citizen – Carmen Palmer of Mount Vernon, New York, who was born in Jamaica – as a member. Palmer's son, Marine Cpl. Bernard Gooden, died in 2003 in Iraq at age 22.

The group currently has 933 members.

In September 2012, President Barack Obama rededicated the last day in September as "Gold Star Mother's and Families' Day."[5]

Symbols

A gold star symbolizes a family member who died in the line of duty while serving the United States Armed Forces.  It may be seen on a service flag or in the form of a pin, which is worn by Gold Star mothers. The pin is not limited to mothers and it is awarded by the US Department of Defense.

 

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