Army Honors Gold Star Mothers at Pentagon
(October 3, 2009)
During a recognition ceremony at the Pentagon
on Sept. 25, 2009 for Gold Star Mothers, Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh presented Ruth V. Stonesifer, national president of the American Gold Star Mothers, with a letter recognizing the importance of the Gold Star Mothers. The letter was signed by McHugh, Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr. and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston.
WASHINGTON (ANS, Sept. 28, 2009)
More than 20 Gold Star
mothers met Friday at the Pentagon in the Hall of Heroes for recognition by
Army senior leaders prior to the national "Gold Star Mother's Day" on
"As Gold Star Mothers, you made an ultimate sacrifice in the service of your
nation," said Lt. Gen. David H. Huntoon Jr., director of the Army staff.
"You perpetuate by your service this noble cause for which your children
died. And in your quest, you set such a remarkable example for all of us in
the face of such tragic loss, an example which inspires us each and every
Gold Star Mothers are those who have lost a son or daughter in military
service. The organization began in 1936. In the United States, the last
Sunday of September is officially designated as "Gold Star Mother's Day."
During the recognition ceremony, Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh
presented Ruth V. Stonesifer, national president of the American Gold Star
Mothers, with a letter recognizing the importance of the Gold Star Mothers.
The letter was signed by McHugh, Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. George W.
Casey Jr. and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston.
Stonesifer lost her son, Pfc. Kristofor T. Stonesifer, on Oct. 19, 2001. He
was killed in action when his UH-60 crashed during a mission in Pakistan.
When her son died, she said, she'd been unaware of the existence of the Gold
Star Mothers. It was her other son, a recently retired warrant officer, who
clued her in on the possibility of being a Gold Star Mother.
"I was holding my grandson, a little baby, and he said we're going to apply
for your Gold Star pin," she said. "I said gee, what's that?"
Stonesifer said she searched on the internet for more information about the
organization that she would eventually become president of.
"I sent for an application and joined, and the very first meeting I had was
with three Vietnam moms," Stonesifer said. "They took me out to lunch. They
just had the most amazing gift to give me, with their 30 years experience of
going down this journey before me. I'm very proud to be associated with
these great moms, I learn from them and I am inspired by them every day."
The Army recognition ceremony Friday at the Pentagon was a kickoff to a
weekend-long series of events for the Gold Star Mothers.
The mothers attended a banquet Saturday at Fort Myer, Va. On Sunday, the
mothers laid a wreath at the Vietnam Wall; attended a ceremony at Arlington
National Cemetery with a speech by Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K.
Shinseki; attended a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns; and held an
open house at the Gold Star Mothers National Headquarters. On Monday, the
mothers visited the Smithsonian Institution to view the restored Star
Article and photo by C. Todd Lopez
Army News Service
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