What is a Gold Star family? It is the venerated status that no one wants, but accepts proudly to honor a loved one who paid the ultimate price to protect our Constitution and the many freedoms Americans have today.

For nearly 100 years, inclusion has been earned for losing an immediate family member serving during wartime. In 1928, 25 mothers who lost sons in World War I met in Washington to establish the American Gold Star Mothers organization. The Gold Star Wives organization was formed during World War II. The last Sunday of September is observed as Gold Star Mothers’ and Families’ Day. The day was first observed in 1936. In 1947, the US Congress passed a law authorizing and distributing Gold Star lapel pins for family members to wear. Gold Star families do not comprise a formal organization, but several organizations representing Gold Star family members emerged during the 20th century.

To date, 6,800 service members have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nearly 300,000 American service men and women are deployed in 150 countries around the world, many of them in harm’s way. Gold Star mothers and families and everyone else are encouraged to continue to tell the stories of the sacrifices their sons and daughters made, not just on Gold Star Mother’s Day, but every day of the year.

Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day is the last Sunday of September and Gold Star Spouses Day is April 5. The strength of our nation is our Army. The strength of our Army is our Soldiers. The strength of our Soldiers is our families. The Army recognizes that no one has given more for the nation than the families of the fallen. The families of service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice deserve our respect, gratitude and the very best support we can provide.  Help bring awareness to days and symbols that honor our Military heroes.

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