Gold Star Mother’s and Family Day

Gold Star Mother’s and Family Day - Friday, September 27, 2024


Why Gold Star Mother’s and Family Day is Important

  1. It emotionally supports the families left behind

    One of the most important things to Gold Star Mothers and Families is ensuring their loved one is not forgotten. When we display our commitment to remembering their soldier, we can all help ease the burden of their grief.

  2. It reminds us of our gratitude

    We can often take the freedom we enjoy in the United States for granted but this holiday reminds us that freedom is not without a price; in this case, the ultimate price. We’re going to spend some time today appreciating the freedom we enjoy every day while being mindful of why we have it.

  3. It raises awareness of the military

    Though oftentimes the meaning of Memorial Day is overlooked, Gold Star Mother’s and Family Day reminds us all of the purpose of the holiday. It also raises awareness of the heroism that our military members display regularly.

History of Gold Star Mother’s and Family Day

Though the exact roots of the tradition aren’t totally known, it was during World War 1 that the gold star came to symbolize that a family member had fallen in battle. Around that time, the term “Gold Star Family” came to mean that you were a surviving family of a person who died in service and families hung banners with a gold star outside their homes. The tradition has since been authorized and seeks to ease the grief of mothers and families while reminding that no one truly serves alone.

Gradually, there came to be many ways for grieving family members to honor their loved ones with symbols worn or places outside the home. In 1918, President Wilson allowed grieving military mothers to wear a traditional black armband featuring a gold star. Soon after, it was approved for families to cover the blue star on the service flag outside of their home with a gold one. As of 1947, Gold Star family members can also display the Gold Star Lapel.

The American Gold Star Mothers Inc. first got its start in 1917, when Grace Siebold’s son was killed during World War 1. Wanting to create a support system for grieving mothers in similar circumstances, Grace gathered what would become the American Gold Star Mothers to grieve together and tend to hospitalized veterans in local hospitals. The organization was formalized as a non-profit in 1928, with a mission of remembrance, education, and patriotism. Still today, they support Gold Star mothers in their grief, hold an annual conference, and organize events with supporting groups.

Though Gold Star Mother’s and Family Day isn’t observed as a National, federal holiday like Memorial Day, it was declared by Congress in 1936 to be the last Sunday in September – though, at the time, it was only known as “Gold Star Mother’s Day.” It was in 2011 that President Obama amended the declaration, declaring the day to include families as well as mothers. Today, the holiday includes any immediate family member and authorizes that person to display the Gold Star Service Flag.

Today, America is not embroiled in any kind of conflict like World War 1 or 2, and far fewer individuals consider Gold Star heroes and their families – oftentimes, people may think that they don’t know anyone in a Gold Star Family. However, there are many more Gold Star families from previous wars than you may think, and since over 1.3 million people are involved in the military today, it’s possible you know a family that still grieves a recent fallen soldier. Understanding the sacrifice and acknowledging the holiday are the best ways to support the families and honor the soldiers.

Gold Star Mother’s and Family Day timeline

September 23, 2011

Obama Proclamation

President Obama amended “Gold Star Mother’s Day” to include families as “Gold Star Mother’s and Family Day” on September 23, 2011.


Gold Star Lapel

The Gold Star Service Lapel, in addition to the Gold Star Service Flag, is authorized to be displayed by surviving family members.

June 23, 1936

Gold Star Mother’s Day Recognized

Since this date, Gold Star Mother’s Day has always fallen on the last Sunday of September.


American Gold Star Mothers

Started in Washington, DC, The American Gold Star Mothers Inc. quickly spread across the country. In 1929, the organization obtained a federal charter to support mothers who were often separated from their ailing or dead children.


Armbands Authorized

President Wilson authorized mothers who had lost a child in the war to wear a traditional black mourning armband featuring a gold star.

Gold Star Mother’s and Family Day FAQs

Where is Gold Star Mother’s and Family Day recognized?

The United States.

What are some organizations that support Gold Star families?

Obviously, a great choice is The American Gold Star Mothers! Other charitable organizations that support families of the fallen include Snowball Express, America’s Gold Star Families, and

When is Gold Star Mother’s and Family Day?

Gold Star Mother’s and Family is observed on the last Sunday in September.

Also on Fri Sep 27, 2024...

Yom Kippur
Sep 27
Tourism Day
Sep 27
Rivers Day
Sep 27