"The Service Flag had a star for each family member in the military." Living servicemen were represented by a blue star, and those who had lost their lives were represented by a gold star. Gold Star Mothers are often politically and socially active. Today, membership in the Gold Star Mothers is open to any "American woman who has lost a son or daughter in service to the United States. On the last Sunday in September, Gold Star Mother's Day is observed in the U.S. in their honor." USC Title 36 Sec. 111 The group holds a congressional charter under Title 36 of the United States Code."
Origin of this Holiday?
"The Gold Star Mothers was founded by Grace Darling Seibold of Washington, D.C. Her son, First Lieutenant George Vaughn Seibold, was killed in aerial combat over France in August, 1918. Mrs. Seibold was already doing volunteer service in veteran's hospitals. After her son's death, she continued this work, and also began organizing a group of other women who had lost their sons in the war. The mothers did volunteer work together, and served as a support network for one another."
"On June 4, 1928, the members of the club decided to establish it as a national organization. They incorporated in Washington DC under the name of American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. At the time, the club had sixty five members, but this number soon increased as more women learned about the national organization."
Do people really celebrate this holiday?
Yes they really do. "Today, membership in the Gold Star Mothers is open to any American woman whose child has died in the line of duty of the United States Armed Forces. Stepmothers and adoptive mothers are eligible for membership under certain circumstances. Husbands of Gold Star Mothers may become Associate Members, who do not vote or pay dues."
"Gold Star Mothers is made up of local chapters, which are organized into departments. Five members are required to start a local chapter. If no local chapter is available, a woman may join the organization as a member at large.
"Just as when it was founded, the Gold Star Mothers continues to concentrate on providing emotional support to its members, doing volunteer work with veterans in general and veterans' hospitals in particular, and generally fostering a sense of patriotism and respect for members of the Armed Forces."
"In early September 2005, Gold Star Mothers accepted its first non-citizen - Carmen Palmer of Mount Vernon, New York, who was born in Jamaica - as a member. The group had banned non-citizens for the first 77 years of its existence, most notably rejecting the application of Ligaya Lagman whose son Anthony was killed while serving in Afghanistan. Palmer's son, Marine Cpl. Bernard Gooden, died in 2003 in Iraq at age 22."
Other September Holidays and observances
- In India, Teachers' Day is celebrated on September 5. The date is the birthday of the second President of India, academic philosopher Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.
- In Japan, Respect for the Aged Day is a national holiday celebrated on the third Monday of September. Autumnal Equinox Day is also a national holiday.
- In Mexico, Independence Day is celebrated September 15.
- In Saint Kitts and Nevis, National Heroes' Day is celebrated September 16. In Saint Kitts and Nevis, Independence Day is celebrated September 19.
- In the Netherlands the third Tuesday in September is known as prinsjesdag. The government presents its annual budget. The queen rides to the parliament in a gilded coach and reads the plans for the coming year to the States-general.
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When is Gold Star Mothers Day?
On the last Sunday in September, Gold Star Mother's Day is observed in the U.S. in their honor. USC Title 36 Sec. 111 The group holds a congressional charter under Title 36 of the United States Code.
What is this Holiday for?
Shortly after World War I the Gold Star Mothers Club was formed in the United States to provide support for mothers that lost sons or daughters in the war. The name came from the custom of families of servicemen hanging a banner called a Service Flag in the window of their homes.