September 24- Gold Star Mothers and Families Day
September 24 is Gold Star Mother’s and Families Day. The tradition dates back to WWII, when a blue star was placed on service flags to indicate an active duty member of a family. If they were killed in defense of their country, that blue star was superimposed with a gold one to honor their ultimate sacrifice. Eventually they came to be known as Gold Star Mothers and Families.
Some of the stories of our fallen reflect on the courage in the hearts of our military. But they also remind us that their Mothers, their families are suffering from the loss of loved ones.
Take, for example, the family of Marine Lance Cpl. Christopher Phoenix-Jacob Levy. He was 11 years old when Islamic terrorists flew planes into the Twin Towers.
His Mother, Amanda Jacobs, wrote in the Marine Corps Times,
“He was 11 when 9/11 hit … and I picked him up at school. They were shutting down schools, they were shutting down everything. At this point, only one of the towers had fallen. And by the time I’d picked him up, the second tower had fell. He was curious about what’s going on and I said, “Well, they’re thinking it’s terrorists. They don’t know.”
And he said, “I want to get the person who did that.”
And I said, “Well, they’ll get him.”
He said, “No, I’m going to get him. I want to be a Marine.”
He’d never mentioned anything about the military. And I was like, “Well, by the time you get old enough, all the threats will be over.”
Of course, it wasn’t over. Christopher Levy did join the Marines and was sent to Afghanistan’s Helmand province. He survived that deployment. His Mom was seriously worried when he volunteered to go back as a combat replacement.
But it wasn’t until she received that coded message on her phone to go home immediately that she knew something horrible had occurred. Her son was killed on December 12, 2011. Forever Amanda Jacobs will be a Gold Star Mother.
Forever Gold Star Mothers
Time would fail to tell you of others like LCpl Cody Steven Childers, who was killed in Marjah, Afghanistan in 2010. His Mom posted this on GoldStar Toast:
“This year on August 20, 2017, marked the 7th year of me losing a big piece of my heart. I have drawn a lot of strength thru stories and how others have described Cody from our book , All Gave Some, He Gave All. Especially the Devils Cowboys that he was with in Afghanistan.
“He arrived to our unit ready for service with PFC chevrons on his chest, Sergeant Rank in his mind and power, wisdom, energy and drive in his heart. Nothing could stop him from accomplishing anything.”
“Cody made everyone laugh and he filled the room with his smile. He loved 3/1 and we loved him. He fit in with us the second he came to us. He taught me to live, laugh, and love even in the most extreme conditions…”
Funny, driven, dedicated, loyal and American Hero. I will carry you forever in my heart Cody and Proud I was blessed to be your “Forever Madre.”
She, too will forever be a Gold Star Mother.
The sons, fathers, brothers, sisters lost all had one thing in common: they loved what they did. These mothers understood that their sons and daughters were happy serving their country.
There are organizations for Gold Star Wives and Gold Star Mothers, support groups that are active all year long for raising funds for veterans and ensuring the memories of their loved ones are never forgotten. It’s not just Mothers, of course- all surviving family members are involved in these groups.
“We want to honor all vets who fought and died for this great country. We want to give back, because this is what our children did – they gave. This is to keep their memories alive.” Sue Pollard, Gold Star Mother, member of American Gold Star Mothers, Mother of SPC Justin Pollard killed in December of 2003.
Featured photo: Left, LCpl Christopher Levy- USMC, Center Army Spc Justin Pollard, Right, LCpl Cody Steven Childers- USMC