Saturday, March 15, 2008

Gold Star Families

A few weeks ago I was out and about with my friend Nita. We did some shopping and then decided to hit one of our favorite spots to each lunch..T.G.I. Fridays...(mashed tators and ribs anyone?). Well, as we were walking in, what do I see? A Gold Star parking spot. Now, we see them on post at the Commissary and the PX but we had never seen one anywhere off post. This is HUGE...I personally think that it's a wonderful way to honor our families who have really sacrificed so much. It's nice to see them honored by agencies outside the military.
So why blog about it? Well, I figure this is my chance to educate...I come across many people in different settings and I find that most people don't know what a Gold Star Wife/Family is. So I figure, if most don't know what this parking sign means, they won't understand the significance...
So what is a Gold Star Family? Well perhaps I should go back to the history of the Service Star flags...back in World War I, families would hang Service Flags in their windows signifying that they had someone serving in combat. The blue star represents one family member serving in the Armed Forces. The blue star is covered or replaced with a gold star to indicate that the family member was killed or died during the war or period of hostilities. The blue star represents hope and pride, and the gold star represents sacrifice to the cause of liberty and freedom.

Initially the organization was started by mothers who had lost their sons in war and as time has gone on it has expanded to include different organizations including all different aspects of the military family.

Just an extra FYI because I know that there has been some confusion as to who can display a service flag...

The Service flag is authorized for display by Americans to honor their family members who are serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during ANY period of war or hostilities. It is not necessary for the Service member to be stationed overseas, or be present where hostilities are taking place. All of the military service members contribute to the performance of our Armed forces regardless of where they are located, and they can also be called upon at any time to enter combat.
Next time you see a Gold Star displayed as shown above say a simple thank you.


Celeste J. said...

Wow, that is really awesome that TGIFridays is doing that.

J&M said...

Thanks for sharing!


What's a Gold Star??!

I thought the blue star was to show that a son (originally) was in harm's way during war. Now it would be spouse, etc.

Did you ever get a chance to go on that website? Very cool stuff.

Stacey said...

I was looking at the flags in the px, some have different backround colors, I think some were outlined in white, and some just solid red, does this stand for something, or does it matter?