April 5 is Gold Star Wives Day

Today, April 5, we pay respect to the husbands and wives of fallen members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Gold Star Wives Day was first celebrated Dec. 18, 2010, through a Senate resolution with support from the Gold Star Wives of America, Inc., a nonprofit organization of about 10,000 members that provides services and support to the spouses of fallen service members.

The U.S. Army has recently designated the day as Gold Star Spouses Day to recognize male spouses of female soldiers as well.

The history behind the Gold Star

The Gold Star is a symbol of loss dating back to World War I. In 1947, Congress approved the design, manufacture and distribution of the official Gold Star Lapel Button, a symbol worn by next of kin of service members of the armed forces who lost their lives in war and armed hostilities of the United States. In 1973, the Lapel Buttonfor Next of Kin of Deceased Personnel was introduced to symbolize active duty Soldiers who lost their lives in non-combat operations. The surviving Family members wear either a Gold Star Lapel Button or the Lapel Button for Next of Kin of Deceased Personnel in honor of their fallen Soldier. Family members typically receive these pins from the Army before or after their Soldier's funeral service.

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