On the last Sunday in September, we observe Gold Star Mothers’ Day as a quiet and somber occasion. American families display their service flags with a blue star representing each member deployed in war. Those lost to combat are honored with a gold star on the flag.
We remember that those lives lost in war are the sons and daughters of our friends and neighbors. As we lower our flags to half mast our hearts are filled with sadness for their loss. However, we also salute these mothers who are united in their grief.
They make a difference every day, and the origin of Gold Star Mothers is testament to this. Her name was Grace Darling Seibold and she lived in Washington, D.C. Her son, George, volunteered to fly with the British air fighters in 1917. The United States had just entered the war and had no air force of its own.
Grace volunteered at the local veterans’ hospitals to help her deal with his absence. Upon news of her son’s death in combat, Grace turned her grief into redoubled efforts to comfort survivors of war. Her legacy is the Gold Star Mothers organization that recognizes both loss and contribution.
Today’s Gold Star Mothers organize annual events to commemorate their day, but they also follow the path that helped Grace find her way through grief. These mothers reach out, with understanding, to families who have lost their children to war.
Through volunteer efforts, the Gold Star Mothers rally others to lend support and comfort to returning vets. These brave women turn their loss into care and giving, and they make an enormous difference in the lives of countless American families.
We honor our Gold Star Mothers, and we salute them too.