The History And Meaning Of Gold Star Mothers

Nov 22, 2016

The Service Flag was created during WWI. A blue star meant a family member was in the military, a gold star meant that loved one died while serving.
Credit Wikimedia.Commons

 

This summer, many Americans heard the phrases Gold Star Families and Gold Star Mothers for the first time. The terms come from the Service Flag that originated during World War I. 

A blue star on the flag or banner a family displayed in their front window meant an immediate family member was serving in the military. If that loved one died, the blue star was replaced by a gold star, allowing others to see the sacrifice that family made in protecting our country.

Joining us to discuss the Gold Star tradition are President of the Ohio Department of American Gold Star Mothers, Rebecca Frank; Kenton County Public Library Adult Services Coordinator and author of The Gold Star Mother Pilgrimages of the 1930s, John Graham; and Reference Librarian with the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Brian Powers. Brian is currently researching the records of Hamilton County men who were killed in action during World War II, using Gold Star Mother membership cards.

John Graham is also co-producer of the PBS documentary, Gold Star Mothers: Pilgrimage Remembrance, available at the Public Library or on Amazon. His book, The Gold Star Mother Pilgrimages of the 1930s, is also available at the Public Library. Local historian Ray Hughes compiled a book of declassified documents on the deaths of military personnel from Hamilton County killed in World War II, for more information, click here

For anyone interested in learning more about their family history, John Graham will discuss the American Battle Monuments Commission and how its website and resources can be used for family research at the Covington Branch of the Kenton County Library on Monday November 28 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. For more information, click here