Memorial Day is synonymous with the unofficial kick off to summer, barbecues and a long holiday weekend, however Memorial Day was created as a day of remembrance to honor those who have paid the ultimate price to ensure our freedom. Originally known as Decoration Day, it was dedicated to honoring the fallen after the Civil War and that tradition remained until WWI when it evolved to honoring all who gave their lives in service to our country. Memorial Day was established as a federal holiday in 1971.
The Navy Gold Star Program dedicates the entire month of May to increasing awareness of the program and the families it supports by educating the community and honoring the service members who have died while serving on Active Duty and their loved ones left behind. We want our Survivors and our communities to know that Gold Star Families and their Fallen Service Members are always REMEMBERED, HONORED, and RESPECTED.
This May, Navy Gold Star Coordinators have been working hard to ensure our Gold Star Families and their loved ones are never forgotten. The Navy Gold Star Coordinator for Florida, Ken Moreland, kicked off Gold Star Awareness Month in collaboration with Navy Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) at NAS Jacksonville Florida, Mulligans Golf Course, and the MWR Fitness Center with Remembrance Events. Photos of the fallen were placed at the Commanding Officer's Headquarters building and at the tee boxes of each hole throughout the golf course in remembrance of the Fallen as well as on treadmills within a MWR fitness center for a Run for the Fallen fitness activity that is ongoing for the month of May. In addition to these static displays, several naval bases across the state of Florida and around the South East region will also be hosting 5K Remembrance Runs as part of campaign efforts.
At Naval Air Station Corpus Christi (NASCC), Gold Star Coordinator, Susanna Del Llano, worked in conjunction with CMC Carlos Gonzalez and the NASCC Chief’s mess to align Lexington Dr., the main road coming into the installation with flags. On Friday, 28 April, a group of 15 Sailor’s placed 174 United States Flags in honor of each of the Active Duty Sailors who died in 2022. At Naval Support Activity Washington, in Washington D.C., the Navy Gold Star Coordinator, Patsy Jackson, coordinated with Naval District Washington command staff to invite Gold Star Families to the 1 May Naval District Washington Proclamation Signing, where RADM Nancy Lacore read and signed the Proclamation to designate May as Gold Star Awareness Month. These are just a few of the many activities designated to Honor and Remember the Fallen and the Loved Ones left behind.
As we head towards Memorial Day, please take a moment to recognize the sacrifices that Gold Star Family members make when their father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, or other loved one dies in service to the nation. Help us let Gold Star Families know that they and their Fallen Heroes are Never Forgotten. For more information on the Navy Gold Star Program please visit www.navygoldstar.com or www.facebook.com/navygoldstar or call 888-509-8759.