Gold Star Mother's and Family's Day, which takes place on September 29th this year, is a time to honor families of fallen military service members.
It has been observed annually on the last Sunday of September since World War I. Initially titled Gold Star Mother's Day, it was renamed by President Barack Obama in 2011 to include families.
A local Gold Star Mothers branch participated in an event at Nathan Martens Memorial in Queen Creek.
Martens family hosts memorial services every year in memory of the fallen from Arizona.
This year, over 250 names of fallen service members were read out loud in remembrance and celebration of their lives.
Gold Star families from across the nation also visited the Washington, D.C. this weekend to commemorate their lost ones.
This included the 3rd Annual Suicide Awareness Walk-a-Thon. The 2.2 mile event yesterday took place at the Lincoln Memorial. Proceeds went to Working Dogs for Vets, a nonprofit that provides service dogs to Veterans with disabilities for free.
The Gold Star Mothers of America visited The Wall this weekend. It was an honor and a privilege to be able to meet these incredible women and their families. pic.twitter.com/rH6WoJzz91— Vietnam Vet Memorial (@VVMF) September 29, 2019
3rd Annual Suicide Awareness Walk-a-Thon. pic.twitter.com/5CdFYpxOJc— Am Gold Star Mothers (@AGSM_National) August 4, 2019
Immediate family members of those who died serving in the Armed Forces are Gold Star Families.
The Department of Defense gives these family members Gold Star Lapel pins.
The total number of Americans killed in all U.S. wars is over 1.1 million.
Those looking to donate to the American Gold Star Mother's Inc. Walk-a-Thon can do so here.