Gold Star Families Memorial (Opening Soon)

Understanding the Significance of the Gold Star

BY JIM GARAMONE, DOD NEWS

More than 7,000 American service members have been killed in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq alone since Sept. 11, 2001. More than 16,000 have died of other causes in that time. Gold Star families have borne the losses, and Defense Department officials want Americans – especially those serving in the department – to understand what the Gold Star lapel pin and Next of Kin lapel pins mean.

The pins were created ”to recognize the sacrifices of so many,” said Deborah Skillman, the program director at the Military Community and Family Policy Office in the Pentagon. Skillman’s office has created and posted an ”eTutorial” on Military OneSource to educate people about the program.

Service members know what the Gold Star represents, and, unfortunately, in a time of conflict, many service members have lost friends. Still, the force has a large turnover of personnel, Skillman noted, and there may be some who do not understand the Gold Star program and what it represents. The eTutorial is for them, she said.

The education effort is in response to input from family members who, because of a general lack of knowledge, sometimes get ”unintentionally insensitive questions about the Gold Star lapel button and Next of Kin lapel button,” Skillman said.

The Gold Star symbol began during World War I. At the start of the American involvement in 1917, families hung banners with blue stars representing family members in the services. If the service member died in combat, the family changed the blue star to gold.

After the war, Gold Star mothers banded together. The group incorporated in 1928. This year’s Gold Star Mothers Day is Sept. 27.

There are still Gold Star families from World War I, and many thousands from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

For more information, go to https://millifelearning.militaryonesource.mil/

Help With Your Donation

Cecil Field POW/MIA Memorial is asking for your donations toward a Gold Star Families Memorial. The monument marker has been donated by The Garden Clubs of Northeast Florida, District IV. We are now working to surround the monument marker with a complimentary environment to include a lighted flagpole displaying the Gold Star banner, landscaping, irrigation, concrete walkway with bench, and a memorial brick area.

The National POW/MIA Memorial and Museum itself will be located at the former Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Master Jet Base (1941-1999) in Jacksonville, Florida, and the Gold Star Families Memorial will be located at the historic Chapel of the High-Speed Pass.

Your donation will contribute toward the lighting, memorial brick area, and lighted flagpole displaying the Gold Star banner. The project requires considerable funding to complete. Several sponsors have already contributed to components of this memorial area. There are three more opportunities available for Sponsorship:

Purchase A Gold Star Memorial Commemorative Brick

Gold Star Families 4×8 Red Brick with 3 Lines of Text and Star

$150

2 lines of text, 20 characters per line
(this includes spaces and punctuation)
*****This brick is for GOLD STAR FAMILY MEMBERS only and there is a limited quantity of 100 bricks available for purchase*****

The Gold Star Families Memorial Plans

December 2020 Update

Thank you Shipmates and Friends!! Humbled by your generosity and caring! Cecil Field POW/MIA Memorial is STILL asking for your donations toward a Gold Star Families Memorial. The monument marker has been donated by The Garden Clubs of Northeast Florida, District IV. We are now working to surround the monument marker with a complimentary environment to include a lighted flagpole displaying the Gold Star banner, landscaping, irrigation, concrete walkway with bench, and a memorial brick area. Your donation will contribute toward the lighting, memorial brick area, and lighted flagpole displaying the Gold Star Marker. The project requires considerable funding to complete. Several sponsors have already contributed to components of this memorial area. With your donation of any amount we can make this project happen! The memorial will be dedicated during our Desert Shield/Desert Storm Anniversary event in Feb 2021! See the construction photos below.

GOLD STAR FAMILIES MEMORIAL PARTNERS

E.F. LEA ELECTRICAL

EXECUTIVE SUITE PROFESSIONALS

FLORIDA FALLEN HEROES

FLORIDA NURSERY, GROWERS

AND LANDSCAPE ASSOCIATION

 THE GARDEN CLUBS OF NORTHEAST

FLORIDA DISTRICT IV

GEER SERVICES, INC.

THE HALL FAMILY

THE HOUSTON FAMILY

THE HUNLEY FAMILY

JACKSONVILLE NATIONAL CEMETERY

SUPPORT COMMITTEE

K9s FOR WARRIORS

THE MCKINNEY FAMILY

LAKE SHORE MOOSE LODGE, NO 2020

LIVE OAK CONTRACTING

ROTARY CLUB OF NORTH JACKSONVILLE

NORTHEAST DISTRICT ELKS LODGES

PROSSER, INC.

REGISTER GENERAL CONTRACTOR, LLC.

ROLLING THUNDER CHAPTER 4

THE SPEICHER-HARRIS FAMILY

THE SPICKELMIER FAMILY

THE SUTHERLAND FAMILY

WINDY CREATIONS

CECIL FIELD POW/MIA MEMORIAL, INC. BOARD MEMBERS

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