75th Annual National Gold Star Mother’s Day Ceremony Hosts VA Moms
By Azure Hall

Star imageSeveral local community members were honored at the 75th Annual National Gold Star Mother’s Day Ceremony. The Fort Eustis Survivor Outreach Services and U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Center for Initial Military Training joined forces with Naval Station Norfolk to provide transportation to Virginia Gold Star Mothers, and to enable them to be at this prestigious event. Rather than the usual venue of a church, this year’s event was held at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, on September 27, 2015. Gold Star Mother’s Day is observed by order of the president of the United States on the final Sunday in September to honor those who have lost a son or daughter in combat.

Gold Star Mothers and guests were invited to witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a wreath laying ceremony, and to attend a recognition ceremony with reception to follow.

Arlington National Cemetery hosted not only the Gold Star Mothers, but also the Blue Star Mothers – a group of mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, foster mothers, and female legal guardians who have children serving in the military, guard or reserves, or children who are veterans.

This year’s proceedings included distinguished guest speakers U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert O. Work and U.S. Army Lt. Gen. David Halverson, Installation Management Command commander and assistant chief of staff. In his speech to the mothers, Lt. Gen. Halverson stated, "You are always to be members of our Armed Forces. What you have been through takes great strength and shows great faith.” He continued, "Your healing power and volunteerism spans generations. Thank you for sharing your stories and inspiration with those carry on the mission of this organization.”

York County resident and Virginia Gold Star Member Avis Wimberley-Williams shared the impact that her membership with the Gold Star Mothers has had on her life. "If you’ve lost a child, for me, I felt like I was the only one who had ever lost a child, but now that I’m with this group of mothers and I know we’re here for the same reason, it gives me comfort – it’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one.”

Wimberley-Williams also shared with us what Gold Star Mother’s Day means to her. "This is just a really specially event… that the country at large thinks enough of us mothers who have lost a child to give a service like this means a lot,” said Wimberly. "It means a lot that they honor us, and that we’re not forgotten— that’s the biggest thing. They never forget us and that’s special.”

American Gold Star Mothers Inc. defines itself as a veteran service organization. Established in 1928 and chartered by the United States Congress in 1984, the Gold Star Mothers honor their fallen children through continued service for our troops. To learn more, visitwww.goldstarmoms.com/.


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