Gold Star Mothers honored in ceremony
Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Stanley Whitten, Deputy Installation Chaplain, releases butterflies on Cottrell Field as part of Gold Star Mothers Day, Sept. 26.

FORT STEWART, Ga. - Soldiers, Family Members and Friends gathered at the Main Post Chapel, Sept. 25, to honor the Third Infantry Division Gold Star Mothers.

"The Gold Star Mothers is an organization made up of any mother who has lost a Soldier," said Col. Kevin Milton, Garrison Commander, "Be it combat or any other means.

The Gold Star Mothers met with one another on Sept. 24 where they created a scrapbook with their sons and daughters in it. The book was then displayed at the recognition ceremony, Sunday.

"The congressional declaration back in 1936 states that we celebrate Gold Star Mothers Day on the last Sunday in September," Col. Milton said.

The insignia for the Gold Star Mothers is a purple circle surrounded by a wreath with a gold star in the center. The gold star itself is steeped in tradition.

"For many years we've seen the blue star flag that hang in windows when our Soldiers are deployed," said Milton. "During World War II the tradition started that when a Family Member or mother lost her son or daughter, she would stitch a gold star over the blue one- to indicate that her son or daughter was killed in combat."

The Gold Star Mothers feel the events and ceremony are essential to the grieving process, and as they socialize, wounds are healed- but never forgotten.

"Being there for other mothers and networking means so much," said Penny Irene Rogers, mother of Spc. Nicholas Rogers. "One mother lost her son only 11 months ago, while it's been close to five years for me. It really does help you with the grieving process. It's easier when you talk with others about your child- what you're feeling and what you're going through."

The ceremony culminated in a release of butterflies on Cottrell Field in honor of those who had Fallen.

"It's very humbling to be quite honest," said Milton. "These mothers have paid the ultimate sacrifice [when they lost their loved ones]. They took time out of their schedules to come down and celebrate this day with us, and to have the opportunity to meet and talk with them was humbling."

Page last updated Fri September 30th, 2011 at 00:00