National Gold Star Mothers Day to be
observed Sept. 30
|National Gold Star Mothers Day will be observed Sunday,
On June 23, 1936, a joint congressional resolution designated the last
Sunday in September as Gold Star Mothers Day, a day that has been
observed each year by presidential proclamation to call on U.S.
government officials to display the nation’s flag on all government
buildings; to call on people to display the flag and hold appropriate
meetings at homes, churches, or other suitable places; and to publicly
express the love, sorrow, and reverence to those who are Gold Star
Mothers and their Families.
American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. (AGSM) is an organization of mothers
whose sons or daughters served and died while serving their nation in
times of war or conflict. The name, “The Gold Star Mothers,” was derived
from the custom of military Families who put a service flag near their
front window. The flag featured a star for each Family member serving in
the U.S. Armed Forces. A blue star denoted living Family members serving
their country, while a gold star symbolized a Family member who died in
the line of duty. In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson approved wearing
black arm bands, bearing a gilt star, by those who had a Family member
who died while on duty. Today the gold star may be seen on a service
flag, on an arm band or in the form of a pin, which is worn by Gold Star
The Gold Star Mothers group was founded by Grace Darling Seibold of
Washington, D.C. Her son, 1st Lt. George Vaughn Seibold, was killed in
aerial combat over France in August 1918. Mrs. Seibold already was doing
volunteer service in a veterans hospital. After her son’s death, she
continued this work, and also began organizing a group of other women
who had lost their sons in the war. The mothers did volunteer work
together, and served as a support network for one another.
The AGSM was incorporated in 1929, obtaining a federal charter from the
U.S. Congress. It began with 25 mothers living in the Washington, D.C.
area. Today, membership in the AGSM is open to any American woman whose
child has died in the line of duty of the U.S. Armed Forces. Stepmothers
and adoptive mothers are eligible for membership under certain
circumstances. Husbands of Gold Star Mothers may become Associate
Members, who do not vote or pay dues.
At the June 2012 AGSM National Convention held in Arlington, Va., it was
reported that AGSM membership consisted of 2,211 individuals. At the
1986 National Convention it was determined that white be designated as
the official dress code of the AGSM, to be worn at the opening of the
National Conventions, Department Conventions, funerals and all functions
appropriately designated by National, Department or Chapter.
AGSM 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.
On Sept. 30, let us all take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices of
our nation’s military Families and, in particular, Gold Star Mothers. To
learn more about AGSM, visit
For information on Survivor Outreach Services in the Fort McCoy
community, call Army Community Service at 608-388-3505.
(Compiled and submitted by Fort McCoy Army Community Service.)