Gold Star Family Day Honors Those Left Behind


Symbols that stand for experiences and sacrifice arc the lives of military families.  The Blue Star flag that hangs in the windows and on the doors of military families show that there is a service member deployed.  There are multiple star flags hanging in windows on many military posts.

The flag that breaks the hearts of those of us in the community – the Gold Star Flag – means that a member of this family has died in the service of his or her country.  In front of that flag, politics goes out the window, or should.  This flag is a flag of great pride and love; and of heartbreak and pain.  At Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery the families gather and compare stories of their service member; the gold star pins they wear are the signs of the membership in a group they never wanted to belong to.

Tribute in the midst of anger and politics

The President, following custom, has proclaimed Sunday, September 25th, 2011, Gold Star Mothers and Families Day. As he said:

“Gold Star mothers and families know the immeasurable cost of fighting for the ideals we believe in, and they know the pride that comes with exemplary service to America.  On this day, and every day, we offer them our deep gratitude and respect, and we are inspired by their strength and determination.  Through heartbreaking loss, our Gold Star families continue to support one another, serve their communities, and bring comfort to the men and women of our Armed Forces and their families.”

Today, in the midst of the rancor, and the anger and the blaming and the politics;  today let us take a day to honor the families of the men and women who died in the service of their country, not only in the recent wars, but all the wars of the past.  The widows of WWII, the heartbroken mothers of the Korean War fallen, the families who mourned the thousands lost in Vietnam, and Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan; remember them today.


Related Story: Military Families Mourn

Photo: Hall of Heroes


Karen F.
Karen F5 years ago

Will, you say they want gold stars like little kids etc. Then you need to actually read or re-read this piece. A Gold Star Family has lost a family member to war. I've heard every single family member say - this is an exclusive club I never wanted to join. This is not a gold star for killing - this is a gold star for loss. I'd ask that you have some compassion for these families.

annelies j.
annelies j5 years ago

Will, without the military, you think you would be living in the UK?

Maybe there are many who miss-represent the military, but I still think that generalizing the way you do is hugely offensive. Yep, still "shame on you"....

Will Rogers
Will Rogers5 years ago

Annelies j. You are delusional. Thinking that the man with the gun is a peacemaker. Sorry...  The Drone' with the gun is a peacemaker. Cos that is what your little soldier boy is. If his commanding officer had told him to kill the African villagers he would have done that too, he would not be able to save them on his own volition against the wishes of the army, after all he was hired to do whatever they say. And as it's the army, what they usually say 'kill people'. That's why they have guns silly! If they were medics or part of the fire department, they wouldn't need guns because their job is to save people. Of course yours is a gun culture and so you must feel very comfortable around guns, but why anyone would want to work in an environment where guns are the norm is beyond me. And to be so accepting of the military industrial complex that has bled your economy dry and alienated your people all over the world. It's like world war one all over, a war of pride. American pride, status and standing in the world. 

annelies j.
annelies j5 years ago

Wil R.
I do agree with some of your statements, but this one I can't support:

"Anyone that joins the armed forces are sadistic perverts who are obsessed with death, and a desire to see dead bodies. A lot of them also want to have the experience of killing another human being."

My husband's favorite missions have been the ones where they went to some African countries, where they helped with the evacuations of many, where people were being massacred.
He still remembers the small child, on one of the missions, that had lost his whole family, had no idea what was going to happen to him, he had nothing but the clothes he was wearing. My husband scrambled, trying to find something to give to this child. All he had on him was a pack of gum. He divided it between this boy and several other children who were evacuating.
When my husband came home from that mission and told me about it, we both had tears in our eyes, and that's when I decided that from that moment on I would always send my husband off on these missions with more than just a pack of gum to share. Our daughter, just a little girl at the time, donated several of her stuffed animals to share with these kids, with them we included homemade friendship bracelets, coloring book and pencils, and some other toys.

Generalizing the way you did is very offensive. Shame on you....

Will Rogers
Will Rogers5 years ago

Continued ...and if they really wanted to get revenge they would have bombed Saudi Arabia. But that target isn't small or weak enough to attack as opposed to Vietnam, Korea, Malaya, Burma. Philippines, Iraq, Grenada, they've never been inclined to attack Russia or China, too much of a fair fight eh?

Will Rogers
Will Rogers5 years ago

This sounds sick, another glorification of war. These soldiers are killing people, such as children and the old, and they have been doing it for many years. Anyone that joins the armed forces are sadistic perverts who are obsessed with death, and a desire to see dead bodies. A lot of them also want to have the experience of killing another human being. Of course there is the issue of freedom. But not the freedom of others, but of Americans to go anywhere and to do anything with only minor repercussions. And also individual freedom. For example; You have to be 21! Before you can drink alcohol in the U.S and be regarded as a full adult! 21. unbelievable! But you are allowed to kill foreigners at 17! in their own country. So I suspect that a lot of people/kids join up to get away from the draconian laws forced on them, if you're in the army you can travel to other countries, drink, whore, fight, pillage, generally have the time of your lives doing things you could never do at home. ...And they want stars like little kids getting a gold star for their homework. Wars are stupid and should only be waged as the last alternative, and only with appropriate force. If someone throws a 4 ounce firework at you, don't respond with a 5 ton high explosive missile because an American felt threatened. And before anyone talks about 911, I don't care! If America hadnt been so arrogant and aggressive around the world it wouldn't have happened, and if they really wanted to get revenge they wo

Dianne Robertson
Dianne Robertson5 years ago

So sad thay we've lost so many of our young people and damage so many others in the quest for revenge and exercise of greed.

Ted V.
Ted V5 years ago

So, Obama, bring the girls and boys home. Quit killing and maiming them, and also the Afghans and Iraqis, for nothing but your corporate masters' profit.

Portland Neola
P. L. Neola5 years ago

I truly feel for the mothers, wives, and families who have loved ones buried in Arlington National Cemetery!

When George Washington Curtis Lee, the eldest son of Robert E. Lee and Mary Lee, was fighting with the federal government to get his family’s plantation back into his possession, our representatives said he could not give it back, because 1) IT IS HALLOWED GROUND and 2) it was confiscated during the Civil War.

Curtis Lee and his lawyers fought in court and eventually won on a technicality in December of 1882. After the ruling, the federal government was officially trespassing on Curtis Lee’s property. Since there were 20,000 men buried in Arlington at the time and our representatives truly believed in the hallowness of Arlington, they paid Curtis Lee $150,000, the market value at the time, in March of 1883 for his newly acquired land.

In my opinion, Arlington National Cemetery is very hallowed!

Ellen Mccabe
Ellen m5 years ago

Seeing those stars, be they nlie ot gold, break my heart.
One stands for fear, the other grief.