Salutee for May 2015
The MOTHERS of our Service Personnel
They come from humble trappings to the wealth of royalty, yet the Mothers of our service personnel all share a common bond, as they watch their sons and daughters go off in service to their country.
They wait in expectation each day for letters and news from their loved ones, assuring them all is well. They offer up a daily prayer to their Creator for the safe return of their children. Then in desperate hope and great anguish they gaze upon the dispatches from the military, the newspapers notices of those lost, the unwanted approach of military personnel or the telegraph person to their door, who bears the news they so desperately do not want. We wish for them the joys of the world as their sons and daughters come home to reunite the family once again.
A Military Mother’s Prayer
Author Unknown, modified to include our women who serve.
The War Mothers Flag was first flown over our Nation's Capitol on Armistice Day (now known as Veterans Day), November 11, 1926. That first flag was purchased by the American War Mothers, and authority for flying the flag annually on November 11th is granted by written permission of the Vice President and the Speaker of the House. (The act of July 1, 1882, regulating the use of the Capitol Grounds vests the Vice President and Speaker with the authority to grant this privilege.)
The flag now used to replace the original woolen flag of 1926 is a synthetic fabric flag measuring 47" x 72" and consisting of a white field with an 11" wide red border. At the top is an 11" blue star for the 4,695,039 Americans who served in World War I. At the bottom of the flag is an 11" gold star for the 60,672 Americans who died in that war. Across the center of the flag, in 4" blue letters, is the text "United States Service Flag".
Preserved in a safe at the US Capitol, this flag is hoisted every Veterans Day at 11 minutes after 11 o'clock, and flies beneath the National Colors until sundown.
The American Gold Star
Mothers Inc. was formed in the United States shortly
War I to provide support for mothers who lost sons or daughters in
war.The name came from the custom of families of servicemen hanging a
called a Service Flag in the window of their homes. The
had a star for each family member in the United States Armed
Living servicemen were represented by a blue star, and those who had
lives were represented by a gold star. Gold Star Mothers are often
active but are non-political. Today, membership in the Gold Star
open to any American woman who has lost a son or daughter in service to
United States. On the last Sunday in September, Gold Star Mother's
observed in the U.S. in their honor. The group holds
charter under Title 36 of the United States Code.
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 and children of Gold Star Mothers are eligible to join as Associate Members.
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.
The uniform consists of a white skirt, white shirt, and a white blazer, with a gold star embroidered on either lapel, and gold piping on the sleeve cuffs, and collars, and white shoes, either Mary Janes, or pumps, with a white cap, similar to a women's service hat, with gold piping. This uniform is worn at all parades, meetings, and social functions connected with military functions (i.e. Memorial Day services at Arlington National Cemetery, etc.)
American Gold Star Manor, located in Long Beach, California, is a 348-unit retirement home for parents of soldiers killed while serving in the military. It was founded in the early 1960s by Eleanor Boyd, then president of the American Gold Star Mothers organization.