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Gold Star Mother’s Day is observed on the last Sunday in September which will be Sunday, September 29, 2019 this year. Gold Star Mother’s Day is intended to recognize and honor those mothers who have lost a son or daughter in the service of the U.S. Armed Forces. Each year there are events and meetings to publicly express love, sorrow and reverence toward Gold Star Mothers and their families. Flags are also mandated to be displayed on government buildings on this day. Army.mil says Gold Star Mother’s Day is intended “to recognize and honor those who have lost a son or daughter in the service of the U.S. Armed Forces.”
Why The Gold Star?
The Gold Star is a symbol of a loved one lost in combat. According to an L.A. Times article, “During World War I, a practice developed across the country: Families displayed flags featuring a blue star, a sign that a family member was fighting in the war. Some flags would display more than one star.”
The exact origins of this tradition are not fully known, but at some point, gold star flags would go up to signify the family member had died on duty. The term “Gold Star Family” went into the national vocabulary thanks to the sacrifices of men and women serving in uniform.
The National Gold Star Family Registry
The National Gold Star Family Registry is a program which honors those who have laid down their lives for freedom during all of America’s past conflicts. The use of a name “Gold Star Family” is commonly used to describe a family whose immediate family member was killed in action.