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The terms “Gold Star family,” and “Gold Star Spouses,” and “Gold Star Wives” traditionally refer to the surviving loved ones of military members killed in the line of duty in combat. “Gold Star Wives Day” was created to honor these loved ones.
As with many things in American culture, it can take time for our institutions to catch up with society, which is why over time the word “wives” in the name of the remembrance has been replaced by the word “spouses” many use the terms Gold Star Wives Day and Gold Star Spouses Day interchangeably.
This recognition of the sacrifices made by military spouses is all at once a memorial for the fallen, a remembrance day for the survivors, and an appreciation for those who are sometimes in danger of being overlooked for their support and service to the country.