By Gretta Becay
Being a Gold Star family is, ‘An honor no one wants.’ It means the family has lost a loved one while that person was serving in the U.S. military. The origins of the symbol date back more than a century. During World War I, families of those in the military displayed a blue star on a flag or in a window of their house to show that a member of the family was serving in the military in the war effort.
If the person died, that blue star was changed to gold. The tradition of wearing a gold star lapel pin was begun after World War II when the U.S. Congress authorized the pins for families of those killed in action.
Gold Star Monuments grew out of this tradition and are meant to show support for surviving family members and to provide a place the families can gather.
At their Nov. 26 meeting, the Dodge County Commissioners approved allowing a group to build a Gold Star monument on the property of the Government Services Building. Scott Eggert, who heads the Minnesota campaign to build Gold Star Family memorials, talked about the monuments to the commissioners.
Fundraising is administered through the Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, headquartered in Kentucky.
This will be the first such monument in Minnesota, explained Commissioner Rod Peterson.
“I’m proud that the county is willing to commit land to this endeavor for recognizing military sacrifices,” he said.More information about the monument will be available in 2020.