Bush Proclaims Sept. 28 Gold Star Mother’s Day
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
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.