Gold Star Mother's Day
Honoring Families That Have Made the Ultimate Sacrifice
September 25, 2015 by Jake Butler
When the U.S. entered World War I in 1917, a young man named George Vaughn Seibold volunteered for service and requested an assignment in aviation. He was sent to Canada to train with the British since the U.S. hadn’t yet established the Air Force. He was eventually deployed to England as a member of the British Royal Flying Corps, 148th Aero Squadron, and headed to combat duty in France.
During his service, he kept in touch with his family back home – especially his mother, Grace Darling Seibold. In his absence, she took up community service by making hospital visits in the Washington, DC area to meet and comfort returning service members who were ravaged by the unforgiving war.
Then came word of her son’s death, after he was presumed KIA. His wife received his personal effects in the mail on October 11, 1918 and confirmation from a family member in Paris on November 4. His obituary ran in the Washington Star on December 15 just nine days before Christmas.
Grace Darling Seibold realized through her time spent at various veterans’ hospitals that families like hers – mothers in particular – needed a way to grieve and heal together. So she set out to create an organization comprised of mothers just like her, so they could support each other through their most troubling times.
It was customary throughout the era to hang a service flag in the window to represent family members away from home on active duty: a blue star for each family member serving and a gold star for each who had died in conflict.
With that concept at heart, Grace Darling Seibold named her organization the American Gold Star Mothers. Years after conceiving the idea, a group of 25 mothers met in Washington, DC for the first time on June 24, 1928.
That tradition continues today, with meet-ups, community service initiatives, and constant online support. The last Sunday in September is now known as Gold Star Mother’s Day in the United States. We encourage everyone to take pause in remembrance for all of the men and women of the Armed Forces who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country, and for the families – moms in particular – who instilled such tremendous courage and spirit within their children.
Thanks to all the Gold Star moms and families for all you do!