Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
This year, September 25th is Gold Star Mothers/Families Day. But do you know its history?
The “star” tradition began in WWI when white Service Flags were displayed from homes to indicate, by the use of a blue star, each service member that family had in the U.S. Military. A gold star stitched over a blue star showed the nation those who had given their lives for their country and the devotion and pride of those left behind. This tradition continued through WWII.
In May 1918 President Wilson approved the suggestion of the Women’s Committee of National Defenses that American women wear a black band on the upper left arm, adorned with a gold star. Each star would represent a family member who had given his or her life for their country. This was suggested in lieu of conventional mourning attire.
In his Letter to the Women’s Committee, Pres. Wilson first used the term “Gold Star Mother,” and the term caught on quickly. The Gold Stars not only signified the supreme sacrifice made by the deceased, but were intended to give their family a measure of pride and consolation. In 1928, The American Gold Star Mothers, inc., was formed to honor the sacrifices made by these families, and to insure that no Gold Star mother would never had to be alone in their grief.
These Gold Star mothers had the right idea. We know that the loss of a child, even for noble reasons, causes terrible anguish in parents. It is important not to try to cope with this on your own, or with any other devastating issue in your life. You do not have to afraid or dismayed. Reach out to the Lord, who promises to uphold you. And reach out to your pastor and friends to help you journey through this time. Let God’s light shine into your darkness.
God our Father, we know that you understand what it means to see your son die. Thank you for the sacrifice of Jesus, who offers me strength and hope. I ask also that you bring your comfort and hope to the gold star mothers and families. Amen.