Fort Campbell leaders joined surviving family members, local leaders and community members Sept. 24 for a wreath flowering ceremony in observance of Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day. During the ceremony at division headquarters, surviving family members and friends were invited to place yellow roses on a star-shaped wreath in honor of a fallen service member.
Colonel Andrew Q. Jordan, Fort Campbell garrison commander, said surviving families are an inspiration to their communities and the command team. Gold Star families number in the thousands, and their loss stems from decades of war, Jordan said.
“Across our nation there are thousands of Gold Star families from World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, Desert Shield, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom as well as many other missions, some that we may not have heard of,” Jordan said.
Since the inception of the United States during the Revolutionary War, families have watched their children go off to battle to fight for the principles that define what the U.S. stands for.
“Survivors know the immeasurable cost of fighting for the ideals we believe in,” Jordan said.
Each life lost is a sacrifice made to ensure others may live in prosperity and freedom, he said.
During the ceremony, Jordan took a moment to recognize Gold Star mothers. Gold Star Family’s Day has its roots in what was originally known as Gold Star Mother’s Day, created in 1936. It was a day set aside to honor mothers who had lost their children in combat. Jordan said he wanted to highlight this because of the role mothers play in each service member’s life.
“Mothers are the first heartbeat that we hear and the first comforting touch that we feel,” he said. “They raise their children in the hopes of greatness, and mothers are the foundation of our community.”
Jordan quoted American poet William Ross Wallace who wrote “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle.” It is a poem about the importance of mothers.
“The hand that rocked the cradle, is the hand that rules the world,” Jordan said quoting the poem, adding it is a fitting description of Gold Star mothers.
“The hand that rocked the cradle, the hand that healed the scars, is the same hand that raised a mighty warrior,” he said. “The warriors we honor and remember and the warriors who made the ultimate sacrifice so that others may live in freedom and prosperity.”
Jordan said the nation owes them a debt that cannot be repaid. On behalf of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Fort Campbell command team, he offered his deepest gratitude and respect to surviving family members.
Survivor outreach services
Gold Star family members and surviving families are part of the Army family for as long as they wish, Jordan said.
Survivor Outreach Services, Army Community Service, is available to help anyone facing the loss of a service member.
The SOS-ACS mission is to provide enhanced services to Gold Star and surviving families by using a holistic and multi-agency approach to delivering services closest to where these Families reside.
Fort Campbell SOS is located at 5001 Screaming Eagle Blvd. For more information or to make an appointment, call 270-798-0272.