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The Gold Star Mothers, Inc.

The History

During World War I, American Women who had family members serving their country wore a blue star around their left arm. As this conflict progressed and the number of dead escalated, mothers wanted to express their loss, as well as the pride and honor they felt for their country. A suggestion of sewing a gold star over the blue star was made by The Women’s Committee of the Council of National Defense. This group presented the idea to President Woodrow Wilson and the practice was adopted in 1918.

On June 4, 1928, twenty-five mothers in Washington D. C. banded together to form a non-profit organization designated as the American Gold Star Mothers. This group espoused all religious faiths and political beliefs and by January 5, 1929, they incorporated. Eventually each state would organize their own chapters and affiliate with the members from Washington.

The organization purchased a building on May 7, 1954, near the Lincoln and Vietnam Memorials. This structure houses the National Headquarters for the American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. located at 2128 Leroy Place N.W., Washington D.C. This facility contains the records and information for the club, and its records of deceased soldiers from World War I, World War II, the Korean conflict, Vietnam War and now the Iraq War.

On June 12, 1984, The American Gold Star Mothers received their charter with the adoption of the following goals:

a) Keep alive and develop the spirit that promoted world services;

b) Maintain the ties of fellowship born of that service, and to assist and further all patriotic work;

c) Inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, State, and Nation;

d) Assist veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, Vietnam and other strategic areas and their dependents in the presentation of claims to the Veterans’ Administration, and to aid in any way in their power the men and women who served and died or were wounded or incapacitated during hostilities;

e) Perpetuate the memory of those whose lives were sacrificed in our wars;

f) Maintain true allegiance to the United States of America;

g) Inculcate lessons of patriotism and love of country in the communities in which we live;

h) Inspire respect for the Stars and Stripes in the youth of America;

i) Extend needful assistance to all Gold Star Mothers and, when possible, to their descendents; and

j) To promote peace and good will for the United States and all other Nations.

Today, the club members carry out the goals of their charter by helping veterans and their dependants with VA claims, volunteering in VA Medical Centers, as well as working to preserve the memory of the deceased. The hard work and dedication that these women have performed through the years, was finally recognized by the President and Congress on September 25, 1994, when they designated the last Sunday of September as the American Gold Star Mother’s Day.