Sept. 28 Gold Star Mother's Day

Tags: HeroStories

WASHINGTON , Sept. 25, 2008 - President Bush has proclaimed Sept. 28 as

Gold Star Mother's Day this year. The day honors the mothers of men and

women who were killed in the line of duty while serving the nation in

the armed forces.

Congress designated the last Sunday in September as "Gold Star Mother's

Day" in 1936, authorizing and requesting the president to issue a

proclamation in its observance each year.

"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," Bush wrote in the proclamation issued by the White House

yesterday. "On Gold Star Mother's Day, we pay solemn tribute to the

mothers of the patriots lost serving this great nation."

The term Gold Star Mother comes from World War I. In that war, families

with someone in the services placed a blue star in the window of their

homes. If the servicemember died on active duty, they replaced the blue

star with a gold one, indicating the sacrifice.

In 1929, a group of women who had lost sons or daughters in the Great

War formed the American Gold Star Mothers in Washington , D.C. The group

now includes mothers "whose sons and daughters served and died in the

line of duty in the armed forces of the United States of America or its

allies, or died as a result of injuries sustained in such service,"

according to their charter.

"Gold Star Mothers inspire our nation with their deep devotion to family

and country," Bush wrote. "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."

Bush asked for God's blessings on these Gold Star families and called on

all Americans to fly the U.S. flag 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," he wrote.

By Jim Garamone

American Forces Press Service Related Sites:

Presidential Proclamation: Gold Star Mother's Day, 2008<