April 5th is Gold Star Spouses Day, a day of honor no one really desires to receive. It is a day to honor all spouses who have made the sacrifice of losing the life of a loved one in the military, one who died in service to our nation.
In 1947 congress approved the design and distribution of the Gold Star lapel button. In 2013 the Senate passed a resolution naming April 5th as Gold Star Wives Day. Some also celebrate the last Sunday in September as Gold Star Mother’s and Family Day. This day, again, is a recognition of the sacrifices made by military spouses, a memorial for the fallen, a remembrance day for survivors, and an appreciation for those who are sometimes in danger of being overlooked for their extraordinary support and service to the nation.
It could be argued that no greater love can exist, than that of a parent for their child. Tragically, since September 11, 2001, almost 7,000 families have been forced to deal with the utterly devastating heartbreak that accompanies that love as their children laid down their lives for their country.
Most of us have not experienced this tragedy. Most of us never will. We may not be able to relate personally or even begin to imagine what losing one in the military might be like. What we can do, however, is to honor and recognize these families on Gold Star Day. We can thank them for the sacrifices they and their children have made on our behalf. We can let them know that no matter what, we support and stand behind them as a country and that, if even just for a day, their burden is our burden as well.
We have heard so often that when a war extends over a long period of time that we tend to forget, and that news of on-going conflict is pushed off the front pages for more recent events. We must never let this happen. As we go through life, enjoying the freedoms that we cherish so much, we must never forget the truth that is ever before us, “Freedom is not free.” - Tom Seals