June 23, 1936, thanks to a joint congressional resolution that designated the last Sunday in September as Gold Star Mother’s Day. It has been proclaimed annually by each president. In 2011, President Barack Obama amended the day to “Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day.”
The American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. was incorporated in 1929 and obtained a federal charter from the United States Congress. It began in the Washington DC area and soon expanded to include affiliated groups throughout the United States.
The history of gold star mothers and their families begins with a young country thrown in the midst of a great war. Army Captian Robert L. Queissner, who’s two sons were serving on the front line during World War I, had created what is now referred to as the Service Flag. The flag was displayed with a blue star to represent a child serving in the military during times of war or hostilities. When a service member died, families stitched a gold star over the blue star.
An ocean often divided families from their deceased sons, as was the case of the founder of the American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. organization, Grace Darling Seibold. While waiting for confirmation of her son’s death, she visited the VA hospital almost daily and made herself useful in the process. Afterward, she continued to visit the hospital and formed the organization that unites gold star mothers still today.