Gold Star Mothers Die A Little Bit Too
by James Glaser
"I've often dreamed of seeing where my Billy died. If I could only feel that close to him one more time before I pass on." These words are from a Gold Star Mother who lost her son in Vietnam. When her Billy died, some might say a part of her died too.
Unless you have lost a loved one in a war, it is hard to understand how that loss spreads through out a family. There are never any answers, not only as to Why?, but also How?
There is a letter from some one you never knew, maybe a telegram, or an Officer at the door who has never even met your son or daughter telling of their death. Today in the 21st century it is no longer just sons, husbands, fathers, and brothers that get killed in battle. No today we lose daughters, wives, mothers, and sisters across the seas, far away from those that love them. With both, today there is still that wonder of "how" and "why."
In World War One, as in all wars since, families put a flag in their window displaying to the world how many men from their home were in the service of our country, with a blue star on a white field, representing each. When one of those "Stars" was killed in the war, a Gold Star was placed over their blue star in that window.
In 1918, sixty five mothers of men killed in action started the Blue Star Mothers Association. Their mission was to keep the memory of those who fell in battle, alive.
The United States of America has done all it can to keep this organization strong, with new members constantly becoming eligible ever since the start of World War 1. In the years that followed America has been able to have over forty wars in which at least some mothers would be allowed to join.
643,885 mothers have become eligible to join this elite group, with more mothers coming on board every day. Any new wars this coming year will ensure the continuation of these Gold Star Mothers and their organization.
No one knows how many Gold Star Children, Gold Star Brothers, Gold Star Sisters, Gold Star Husbands, or Gold Star Wives there are. We just don't keep that good of a count.
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