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Shirley G. Hodges
Was Your Ancestor a Gold Star Mother?
Published: 05 January 2012
By Shirley Gage Hodges   Biography & Archived Articles

Mothers throughout the ages have worried about their children who were away from their homes defending their country.

Beginning in World War I, American families often expressed their pride in their children's service in the military by displaying service flags. These flags had a blue star. Some families had more than one child serving in the military so the flags would display a blue star for each child in the service. If these families had a member who had died in the service of their country their star would be covered over with a Gold Star. This use of the Gold Star has continued since that time. The Mothers of these lost veterans became known as Gold Star Mothers. The designation is used for any mother who has lost a child in war.

In 1965, The United States Congress established the Gold Star Lapel Pin. There are two Gold Star pins that are available to relatives of those killed in combat. The Defense Department is in charge of awarding these. For more infromation see:

The American Gold Star Mother, Inc. is a private organization that was organized in 1928 See:

Each Christmas the First Lady carries on the tradition of the First Lady choosing a "theme" or "motif" for the White House trees. First Lady Michelle Obama chose the theme "Shine, Give, Share," as a way to honor our troops, veterans, and their families.

One of the most touching trees this year was the Gold Star Christmas Tree that was decorated in honor of our military families. The tree was decorated by Gold Star families who volunteered their time during the holiday season. It included photos of fallen heroes and messages about those who had fallen. Visitors were able to inscribe a ceramic gold star to honor their loved one.

We need to continue to show our pride in our military families. If you have a veteran in your family who has made the ultimate sacrifice make sure you are telling their story.

Until next time :)

Shirley Hodges

To read back issues of Shirley Hodges' articles, visit her biography & archived Articles

Editor's Note: Shirley Hodges is the author of the popular Guide to United States Census, 1790-1930:

BOOK - Guide to United States Census, 1790-1930
By Shirley Gage Hodges
Published by Global Heritage Press, Milton
Guide to the United States Census, 1790-1930 explains what the United States census records are, what information they contain and how to use each census. Each individual year of the Federal Census between 1790 and 1930 (census were compiled every 10 years) is explained in detail. This guide is designed to help the census novice and intermediate researcher come to grips with this valuable genealogical research tool. Experts will also find this guide useful.
ISBN 978-1-897446-01-0      More information

coil-bound.....$14.95 (Canadian Dollars)
Check price in your currency
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