PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. -- The Presidio of Monterey Garrison hosted a special reception to honor the Gold Star families of eight fallen service members May 23 at the POM Chapel annex. The Gold Star families were invited as special guests by the Presidio to attend the Memorial Day Ceremony at Soldier Field.

The closed reception was arranged to provide the families an opportunity to meet and have some quiet time for fellowship following the ceremony.
A Gold Star family or Gold Star Mother is the designation given to those who have lost a son, daughter, husband or wife in the service of the United States. The designation dates back to World War I from the custom of families of servicemen hanging a banner called a Service Flag in the window of their homes.

The Service Flag had a star for each family member in the United States Armed Forces. Servicemen currently serving were represented by a blue star, and those who had lost their lives were represented by a gold star.

The families were met by U.S. Army Garrison Presidio of Monterey Commander Col. Paul Fellinger and Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Commandant Col. David K. Chapman, who had previously welcomed and acknowledged their sacrifices in his remarks from the podium during the Memorial Day ceremony.

About 20 guests attended the Gold Star event, representing eight fallen service members.

The reception was sponsored by the Presidio of Monterey and organized by the Directorate of Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation's Army Community Service.