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The Promise Of A Gold Star Mother
Less than 1% of Americans serve our great nation in uniform, yet all Americans are affected by the consequences of war.
Gold Star Mothers are not a Club one goes seeking to join, for fate and destiny have chosen its members through the greatest sacrifices of our men and women of valor.
Gold Star Mothers and families wear a heavy heart, they live through the tragic and untimely deaths of their sons and daughters who gave their lives during battle, and it’s often said that “during times of peace, sons bury their fathers, during times of war, fathers bury their sons.”
On Gold Star Mother’s Day each year, the last Sunday in September, America honors “The life givers of American Valor.” These mothers are honored and saluted, they will always be lifted up in prayer as many of these mothers share their heroes stories of yesteryear when the world was a kinder and gentler place.
Their fallen heroes are a part of the generations of courageous young adults who entered the service out of high school in pursuit of leadership and adventure, that’s why there is only less than 1% of Elite Americans who serve our great nation in uniform, and don’t let the low numbers fool you because zeal and the spirit of those who serve our great nation in uniform magnanimously rise above the void, in order to protect and preserve our Constitutional rights.
Gold Star mothers live out the rest of their lives experiencing the deepest wounds to their soul, for we have lost a part of ourselves through the tragic death of a child, who was a part of our future evolution.
How do we heal, this broken arrow? By honoring the lives of Gold Star Mothers as their family heroes live through them, not only in memory, but American history.
The very definition of “Mother” is redefined, by our child in spirit, there are no instructions to come with this new title, only an individualized journey that surrounds a shadow of sorrow etched in bitter sweet memories and a longing to see their smiles shine and hear their voices call out Mama, has now become redacted from the frequency of this lifetime.
I too⏤bear the heavy heart of a Gold Star Mother as my Marine son is a Fallen American Hero, he was killed in action, in Afghanistan village of “GANJGAL” a decade ago, forever tied to two living medal of honor recipients, who fought in the very same village that the Russian soldiers fought the Taliban from 1979 to 1989, unbelievably, it was the power of these Russian Gold Star Mothers voices and protest, that ended that war.
I am also a generational Gold Star Mother as my Maternal Grandmother before me lost her youngest son at the age of 19 in WWII on Christmas Eve.
My family is a generational family of service, as my father was a Marine, I served in the Army as well as my brother, nephew, cousins and uncles.
As a Gold Star Mother I am often asked many profound questions by the curious 99% of Americans who don’t understand the world of the less than 1% of Americans who serve our great nation in uniform. How does it feel to be the mother of an American hero, how does your family cope with your great loss, and could you tell us a few stories about your son?
Through my transformation process as the giver of life to that of Mother of Fallen American Hero, these questions and answers are filled with a medley of complicated emotions, as first I must re-acquaint myself with my newly inherited position created by that clandestine arrangement of fate and destiny, unbridled from this earthy path of life.
Honestly, at times, it’s a feeling of hopelessness and a forever void of NEVER hearing my son call out his name for me since birth, “Mama”.
Being a Gold Star Mother of an American hero means there will FOREVER be an empty seat at our family holiday tables, one sided birthday conversations, and days starting and ending in prayer and deep reflection of what could have, and should have been, and visits to his final resting place, filled with fresh flowers and tears.
Yes, my reply to these questions are always emotional, as I reach into that devoted space of time and memory, and arm myself with the extra strength to get through this painful journey that resides deep within the seat of my soul, for within this sacred compartment, where only the love for your children and loves of your life reside.
As I bravely equip myself with this invisible armor, and I am reminded to keep my emotions in tact with every ounce of grace within my being, I temper and balance the internal and external mother mode, I remember that promise I made to my son to be strong for him, and I swear forever to stand by my word.
As I get through my stories and shared memories, a magical, mystical healing takes place, another layer of pain is removed and replaced with a sense of peace and pride in knowing my beloved son died doing what he loved, he was a United States Marine, and he was the epitome of a humanitarian in uniform.
My family and I believe there is a special place in heaven for heroes.
The recognition of Gold Star Mothers dates back to World War I, when it became a custom for family members to place a banner in the front window of their home, the flag featured a star for each family member serving their country, living members were denoted in blue, but the gold stars honored those family members who were killed while serving their nation in uniform.
Each year on Gold Star Mother’s Day the United States President calls 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 are also required to display the flag.
In 1929, American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. was incorporated, obtaining a federal charter from the US Congress.
It began with 25 mothers living in the Washington DC area and soon expanded to include affiliated groups throughout the nation. On June 23, 1936, a joint congressional resolution designated the last Sunday in September, as Gold Star Mother’s Day, a holiday that has been observed each year by a Presidential proclamation.
A gold star symbolizes a family member who died in the line of duty while serving in the United States Armed Forces. It may be seen on a service flag or in the form of a pin, which is worn by Gold Star mothers. The pin is not limited to mothers for fathers and other families wear it, and it’s awarded by the US Department of Defense.
On the last Sunday in September, Gold Star Mother’s Day is observed in the U.S. in honor of Gold Star mothers, as established in Title 36 § 111 of the United States Code.
This was originally declared by Senate Joint Resolution 115 of June, 23, 1936. In September 2012, Barack Obama issued a presidential proclamation, committing September 30, 2012, as “Gold Star Mother’s and Family Day” and On September 23, 2017, President Donald Trump proclaimed Gold Star Mother’s and Family Day.
“As a mother, the giver of life, how does one resurrect the loss and emotional pain of loosing a child, and through the years expected to turn this immeasurable grief into a celebration of life”? ~Susan Price, Gold Star Mother of Marine Gunnery Sgt, Aaron M. Kenefick, USMC.
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