APG celebrates Gold Star Mother's Day
Maj. Gen. Robert S. Ferrell, APG and CECOM commander, and Gold Star Mother Edith Canapp pose together in the chapel gazebo that was dedicated to Gold Star Families during Armed Forces Week in May.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Gold Star Mother's Day is observed in the United States on the last Sunday of September each year. It is a day for people to recognize and honor those who have lost a son or daughter in the service of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Aberdeen Proving Ground combined its observance of Gold Star Mothers with the Patriot Day event at the Main Post Chapel Sept. 11. When they arrived, Gold Star Family members were escorted into the Main Post Chapel by Soldiers in dress blue uniforms. During the Patriot Day ceremony Darryl Harris, a Gold Star Family member, read the poem Freedom Isn't Free and Carol Roddy, president of the Gold Star Mothers Maryland chapter, joined the program's host, then Brig. Gen. Leslie C. Smith, in a candle lighting honoring. Maryland's fallen service members. Each Gold Star Family member received a long stem yellow rose to honor and commemorate their visit to APG.

Many of the Gold Star Family members who attended the APG event also attended the National Gold Star Family observances in the nation's Capitol Sept. 30. They included a Gold Star Mother's Day Service and wreath laying at the Vietnam Wall and at Arlington National Cemetery.

The term Gold Star Mothers was derived from the custom of military families who hung a service flag in their front window. The flag featured a star for each family member serving their country -- living members were denoted with blue stars but gold stars honored Family members who were killed while
on duty.

The American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. was incorporated in 1929, and received a federal charter from Congress. The organization began with 25 mothers living in the Washington D.C. area and soon expanded to include affiliated groups throughout the nation. On June 23, 1936, a joint congressional resolution designated the last Sunday in September as Gold Star Mother's Day, a holiday that has been observed each year by a presidential proclamation.

APG Survivor Outreach Services cordially invites Gold Star Family members to the next Gold Star Family Group meeting Oct.18, The monthly meetings are held to help Gold Star Family Members learn about services and resources available to them, as well as to plan recreational gatherings and receive emotional support if needed. The group is made up of survivors of active duty Soldiers, retirees, and military civilians. The fallen could have been lost through an accident, natural causes, or illness; the death does not have to be conflictrelated to be a member. The point is that Gold Star Family Members have a program, time and place set up here at APG just for them.

Please note that APG has a virtual memorial page dedicated to fallen Maryland service members located at http://www.apg.army.mil/apghome/sites/services/acs/sos/fallenmemorial.cfm.

We are looking for photographs of the fallen to post on the page. Anyone who has information and/or pictures of Fallen Soldiers from the Maryland area, or who has close ties with Family in the area is requested to contact the Survivor Outreach Service office.

It is the goal and mission of APG and Survivor Outreach Services to ensure that all Gold Star Family members in the area know that whether they are survivors of active duty or retirees that APG and Survivor Outreach Services is and always will be here for them.

For more infomation, contact Annette Sanders at 410-278-2861 or e-mail casandra.

Page last updated Thu October 11th, 2012 at 15:13