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Sunday, September 28, 2008


Gold Star Mothers Club

Shortly after World War I the Gold Star Mothers Club was formed in the United States to provide support for mothers that 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 military. 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 politically and socially active. 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. USC Title 36 Sec. 111 The group holds a congressional charter under Title 36 of the United States Code.

Founding of the Gold Star Mothers

The Gold Star Mothers was founded by Grace Darling Seibold of Washington, DC. Her son, First Lieutenant George Vaughn Seibold, was killed in aerial combat over France in August, 1918. Mrs. Seibold was already doing volunteer service in veteran's hospitals. After her son's death, she continued this work, and also began organizing a group of other women who had lost their sons in the war. The mothers did volunteer work together, and served as a support network for one another.

On June 4, 1928, the members of the club decided to establish it as a national organization. They incorporated in Washington DC under the name of American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. At the time, the club had sixty five members, but this number soon increased as more women learned about the national organization.

Gold Star Mothers 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 of Gold Star Mothers may become Associate Members, who do not vote or pay dues.

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.

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. The group had banned non-citizens for the first 77 years of its existence, most notably rejecting the application of Ligaya Lagman whose son Anthony was killed while serving in Afghanistan. Palmer's son, Marine Cpl. Bernard Gooden, died in 2003 in Iraq at age 22.

The group currently has 933 members.

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

Throughout our history, the men and women of the Armed Forces have put our Nation's security before their own, doing their duty in the face of grave danger. On Gold Star Mother's Day, we pay solemn tribute to the mothers of the patriots lost serving this great Nation.

Gold Star Mothers inspire our Nation with their deep devotion to family and country. These extraordinary women serve their communities, dedicate their time to helping members of our Armed Forces and veterans, and bring comfort and hope to families whose loved ones laid down their lives in the defense of our liberty. Nothing can compensate for their sacrifice and loss, yet Gold Star Mothers demonstrate tremendous courage and resolve while working to preserve the memory and legacy of all our fallen heroes.

On this day, we honor our country's Gold Star Mothers and remember their sons' and daughters' noble service and great sacrifice. We offer them our deepest gratitude and our most profound respect, and we ask for God's blessings to be upon them and their families.

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 115 of June 23, 1936 (49 Stat. 1895 as amended), has designated the last Sunday in September as "Gold Star Mother's Day" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in its observance.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Sunday, September 28, 2008, as Gold Star Mother's Day. I call upon all Government officials to display the flag of the United States over Government buildings on this special day. I also encourage the American people to display the flag and hold appropriate ceremonies as a public expression of our Nation's sympathy and respect for our Gold Star Mothers.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.


1 comment:

Mima said...

Hi Debbi, Thank you for visiting my blog and for your sweet comments. I am happy to hear that you recently had a 28Th. Anniversary. Happy belated Anniversary. We don't find to many of those our days. I am also happy to hear that your very involved with military suppost. I have a daughter in the Navy, who's done 3 over seas tours. She's been in the Navy 13 years with 4 little ones. How her and her hubby manage to do it is beyond me. God Bless you and keep up the good work. I am sure it keeps you sane. Hugs, Mima