Gold Star Family Memorial

The term “Gold Star” describes a family member who has lost a loved one in military service. The Gold Star was first used on service flags during World War I. A blue star designated an immediate family member was serving in the military. If that loved one was killed in combat, a gold star was placed over the blue star.

Soldiers don’t serve alone. In 2015, there was a reported total of 1,728,710 family members of active duty service members, including 1,076,803 children and 641,639 spouses. A tradition that started in WWI, the service flag allowed family members to recognize each immediate family members serving in the military with a blue star on a service flag, which was often hung in the front window of the family home. If that loved one died in combat, the star would be changed to gold. The Gold Star designation is an honor nobody wants, and we pay tribute to this special group of people with our Gold Star Mothers and Families Memorial, dedicated in 2014.

The United States began observing Gold Star Mothers Day on the last Sunday of September, in 1936. Today, the nation recognizes the sacrifice that all Gold Star Family members make when a father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, or other loved one dies in service to our country.

In February 2018, ground was broken on Phase One of the Gold Star Memorial Trail in Mayville’s Theiler Park. The trail is expected to be open by Veterans Day 2019.