• Jun 13, 2024
  • 11:03 PM

June Is Gold Star Mothers Birthday

By Chuck N. Baker

(Las Vegas) — The American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. is a private, nonprofit organization made up of mothers who lost sons or daughters during service in the U.S. military. A national day of honor is set aside for Gold Star Mothers on June 4, which marks the organization’s birthday. The nonprofit was first established in 1928 making the Gold Star Mothers organization 94-years-old this year.

Southern Nevada and Reno are home to at least three Gold Star memorials. One is located on Las Vegas Boulevard, near Bonanza Road and you may have never noticed it!  The Las Vegas memorial was built in the 1950’s. Today, it stands on a lot that is home to the Las Vegas Senior Center. You have to park in the Senior Center parking lot and walk a few feet to find it. The other two memorials are not so challenging to locate. There is a Gold Star memorial in Henderson, and a Gold Star memorial in northern Nevada, in Sparks.

Las Vegas resident Marina Vance is a Gold Star mother. Her son Ignacio lost his life serving the U.S. in Iraq. Today, she explains her son’s memory is always with her. “I want to remember him as being happy,” she said. “I work on things to keep his memory alive. I go to the cemetery a lot of times. It keeps me going. We sometimes take life for granted, another birthday, another day of getting old.”

Vance especially enjoys going to the cemetery at Christmas and observing the ceremony put on by Wreaths Across America, where a holiday wreath is placed on each grave. “It’s so beautiful, with flags flying. So many veterans are buried there. I believe in the spirit in people’s souls. I’m never alone. I’ve got my son with me.”

Henderson Gold Star resident Iliana Jaime lost her Marine son Jesse in Iraq. She used to attend meetings that were held several years ago, but now keeps active on special days that honor the military. “During the last few years, we didn’t do so much, what with people moving in and out. But I go to the cemetery, on holidays and birthdays and other special days.” She is also fond of the Wreaths Across America event. “We go every year to meet people and get together. We do the same on Memorial Day.” She is proud to explain that another son who also served in the Marines is now a policeman in the Las Vegas Metro Police Department.

This year, the Gold Star Mothers national convention will be held in West Palm Beach, Florida on June 23-26. For more information go HERE.