Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day is observed in the United States on the last Sunday of September. The U.S. Congress recognizes this as the day when America honors surviving parents and Families of fallen service members – specifically those who died while on active-duty.

The term “gold star” originated during World War I. Americans displayed flags in homes, businesses, schools and churches bearing a blue star for each Family member serving in the military. Families stitched a gold star over the blue star to honor those members who died during military service.

This year’s theme, remember surviving military mothers and Families and honor the legacy of their loved ones who died in service to our nation, ties to the centennial observance of the U.S. involvement in WWI, in which the United States suffered more than 100,000 deaths.

Army leaders encourage the military community to take time on Sunday to remember the service members who have given their lives in the service of the country and recognize the sacrifices of the loved ones who have been left behind.

The Army remains indebted to Gold Star mothers and Families as they are the legacies of their service member’s ultimate sacrifice.

Gold Star mothers and Families are considered integral members of the Army community.

The Army is dedicated to paying tribute to fallen service members in recognition of the loved ones they left behind.

During the Soldier’s funeral service, the Army presents the surviving Family members with Gold Star lapel button or the lapel button for next of kin of deceased personnel in honor of their fallen Soldier.

The U.S. Army Installation Management Command is committed to continue to providing quality care, support and services to surviving Family members, through programs such as Army Community Service Survivor Outreach Services.

The Army is dedicated to providing ongoing support to more than 75,000 surviving Family members of fallen service members. Army Survivor Outreach Services offers resources including supportive counseling, financial education, benefits coordination and support groups to surviving Family members for as long as they need or request Army involvement.

The Army will remain thankful for all individuals, nonprofit organizations, and nongovernmental organizations that complement the Army’s continuum of support.

Gold Star mothers and Family members are, and always will be, a part of the Army Family. The Army recognizes their courage and sacrifice and is committed to supporting them while honoring the legacy of their fallen service members.