Remembering The Fallen at Gold Star Mothers' Brunch
(June 30, 2011)
|St. Louis, MO (MCN - 6/26/2011) -- The beautiful room at the
St. Louis Union Station Marriott was filled with large round
tables and crowded with women in white dresses, men in suits
and Marines in uniform. People laughed and smiled as they
enjoyed brunch together. Onlookers would never imagine that
hidden behind the laughter, lies unimaginable heartache.|
Karen Kelly, mother of 1st Lt. Robert Kelly, embraces a friend during the closing ceremony of Marine Week St Louis at the War Memorial June 26, 2011. 1st Lt. Kelly was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010.
The women in white dresses, sprinkled throughout
the room, share a common pain, yet a unique
strength. Each of the women, called Gold Star
Mothers, lost a son who valiantly defended the
United States as a Marine. It was the selfless
dedication of these young men that filled these
women with the inner strength and hope to carry
on. The spark of their lost sons burned on in
each of their hearts, inspiring them to keep
that flame alive.
On the final day of
Marine Week St. Louis, Marines hosted a brunch
to honor Gold Star families and the memory of
their fallen sons. During the brunch, a
slideshow announced each fallen St. Louis
Marine, as well as his family in attendance.
Although many tears were shed, each family was
applauded for their loyalty and strength in the
face of their loss.
One Gold Star family in attendance was Gen. John Kelly
and his wife, Karen, who lost their son, 1st Lt.
Robert Kelly, in Afghanistan last November. The loss was
devastating for the Kelly family, but in true Marine Corps
spirit, the tragedy did not hold them down. Mrs. Kelly is
determined to keep the memory of her son alive.|
General and Mrs. Kelly started a scholarship fund in honor
of their son. The scholarship will provide the means for the
child of a Marine to attend college.
The Lt. Robert
Kelly Scholarship was awarded to its first recipient, Lexy
Polich, daughter of reserve Staff Sgt. James Polich, at the
Gold Star Mothers brunch.
These fallen heroes and
their families are near and dear to the hearts of all
Marines. At the closing ceremony for Marine Week St. Louis,
shortly after the brunch, Major Gen. Anthony Jackson spoke a
few words to these families, recognizing that they will
remain a part of the Marine Corps family. Jackson especially
praised the mothers of these brave young men, saying that
Marines are born from the wombs of angels.
Corps, as well as the recipients of the scholarship funds in
years to come, will never forget those who have fought and
died to protect the United States, or the families who carry
their memories in their hearts. The spark of those brave
lives will burn on forever.
Article and photo by USMC LCpl. Chelsea Flowers|
Headquarters Marine Corps
Marine Corps News
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