This past Sunday, September 24th the country observed Gold Star Mother’s Day. The day is intended to recognize and honor those mothers who have lost a son or daughter in their service in the U.S. Armed Forces. In 1936, the 74th Congress declared that the last Sunday in September will be known as Gold Star Mother’s Day, and it is the duty of the President to request its observance. The name ‘Gold Star Mothers’ was derived from the custom of military families to put a service flag near their front window during World War I. The flag featured a star for each family member serving, living members were denoted in blue, and gold stars symbolized a family member who died in the line of duty.
Every mother that sends their child off to war has a fear their loved one will not return. Unfortunately for some that nightmare becomes reality, and they share a similar story to Candy Martin:
- Candy Martin was in her home’s back bedroom one Sunday morning in October 2007 when her husband asked her to come out, his voice was quivering. He must have run over the dog, she thought, taking her time and trying to delay the inevitable bad news. When she finally came out it was to find two somber Army officers standing in her kitchen. “Don’t say it. Don’t say it. Don’t say it,” she begged them over and over again, hoping that if she didn’t hear the news it wouldn’t be true. Her son 1st Lt. Thomas Martin had been killed by small-arms fire in Iraq on Oct. 14, shortly after his 27th birthday. His fiancée, who was also in Iraq, flew medevac helicopters and heard about the incident on the radio. Although Army officials didn’t have to, they let her sit with Thomas in the morgue — knowing that helped Thomas’ mother a little. She was grateful someone who loved her son was with him that night.
This past Sunday, many events occurred across the country to honor fallen service members and their mothers. Fulfilling his duty, the United States President Donald Trump called on all Americans to display the nation’s flag and hold appropriate meetings to publicly express their love, sorrow, and reverence towards Gold Star Mothers and their families. Government buildings were also required to display the flag. This year on September 10th, the Miss America Pageant honored twelve mothers whose sons were killed while serving. The moms were put up and pampered at casinos, met Pentagon officials, and honored on stage at Boardwalk Hall before the nationally televised finale began.
There is nothing in this world that could bring a loved one back, but the Purple Heart Foundation is dedicated to helping the dependents of fallen servicemen, ALL veterans, and their families. Nearly 90% of cash donations the Purple Heart Foundation receive provides funds for programs that help the National Service Officer Program, the Scholarship program, as well as other programs. You can show your appreciation to the brave men and women who give their lives for our freedom by donating here.