Honoring Gold Star Mothers On Sept 28th

William J. Larkin, Jr.

September 23, 2008

Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) is asking residents to recognize Gold Star Mothers this Sunday as a way to honor those who have lost a son or daughter while serving the United States Armed Forces. Gold Star Mother’s Day is observed in the United States on the last Sunday in September each year. This year, this day falls on Sunday, September 28.

Each year, the United States president is requested to issue a proclamation to: call on US government officials to display the nation’s flag on all government buildings; and to call on people to display the flag and hold appropriate meetings at homes, churches, or other suitable places on Gold Star Mother’s Day to publicly express the love, sorrow, and reverence for those who are Gold Star mothers and their families.

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. In 2008, the group planned various activities such as a banquet, a Gold Star flower wreath laying service, as well as an afternoon tour of President Lincoln’s cottage in Washington DC.

The name, "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 service. 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.