SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii – Army officials invite the community to take part in honoring the mothers of fallen service members at a ceremony in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Sept. 30, at 11 a.m.

During the Gold Star Mothers Day ceremony, mothers of fallen service members, or “Gold Star Mothers,” will place the boots of their lost sons or daughters, as well as a lei of honor and remembrance, at the foot of the Lady Columbia statue. Lady Columbia stands tall at the cemetery, representing all grieving mothers of the Armed Forces, as she vigilantly watches over the fallen.

“We owe our deepest gratitude and respect to these mothers who have survived such heartbreaking losses,” said Col. Daniel Whitney, commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, and ceremony host. “Their strength and resilience is both humbling and inspiring.”

The United States began observing Gold Star Mothers Day in 1936 to honor the sacrifice and strength of its Gold Star Mothers. The day is nationally recognized every year by a presidential proclamation.

Mothers of fallen service members began calling themselves Gold Star Mothers during World War One. The name was derived from the custom of military families putting a small flag in their home’s front window. The flag featured a star for each family member serving in the Armed Forces—living members denoted by a blue star, and a gold star honoring family members killed in the line of duty.

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