GOLD STAR MOTHERS
Mothers who had sons at war who never returned home alive established ‘Gold Stars Mothers’ day following the World War One.
Grace Darling Seibold, the mother of missing George Vaughn Seibold, is known as the founder of the day.
She began to gather the mothers of American soldiers who had died at war, after she learnt of his son’s death, to give solace to each other and they hanged gold stars on their windows, one for each son killed at war.
In 1928, 25 of these mothers established American Gold Star Mothers and in 1918, President Wilson approved their suggestion that American women participating in the funeral of their killed relative should wear a black band on the left arm with a gilt star on it.
Gold Star Mothers and the ‘American hero’
Whereas the day has been observed for more than half a century since the wake of WWI, it is specially known in connection with September 11 and the concluding wars.
After the 9/11 of 2001 and the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq by US in 2001 and 2003, may male and female American soldiers were killed and have made the day once again alive in the country as a family culture.
Therefore, although the American Gold Star Mothers Inc. claims to be socially active but “non-political”, the hero-making nature of such a memorial day could hardly be ignored for its impact in motivating the American family’s understanding of war that encourages sacrifice for the country’s “manifest destiny” and selling war.
The political use of this national day probably includes the many sympathetic photos observed on the covers of main gazettes or selected as pictures of the year, depicting parents on the graveyards where their veteran children are buried.
A Gold Star Mother says “No to Syria War”
Karen Meredith, mother of an Iraq war veteran, Ken Ballard, believes that US’ alleged response to 9/11 by attacking Iraq killed her son.
She believes that the two Iraq and Afghanistan wars claimed the lives of 2,266 American soldiers and changed the lives of 6,755 families and friends in an instant “with a simple knock on the door”.
Pointing to the small scale of Americans’ loss compared to the Iraqis and Afghans, Kaern questions the war drums against Syria and asks “what number of any casualties will avenge the deaths of 2,996 who died on 9/11?”
A simple calculation on the numbers given here approves what Karen thinks “we have achieved that number by now”.
Based on the existing statistics from various sources on casualties in Iraq, at least 66,810 and approximately 134,000 Iraqis have died in the US invasion to the country.
According to Iraq’s Ministry of , 1 million Iraqi woman and more than 4 million children have been widowed and orphaned since 2003 to 2008.
This is while, had a coherent system of tallying casualties in Afghanistan been in place, the numbers would have been shocking more.
The comparison between the numbers of casualties in the two Middle Eastern countries and the Americans who had their families safe at home, shows that Iraqi and Afghan Gold Stars Mothers have had a more starry night at home at the end of the war than their American peers.