Gold Star Mothers and Families of the Fallen were honored during a candle light vigil Sept. 22 hosted by Army Community Service at White Sands Missile Range.
Over fifty guests were treated to refreshments at ACS followed by a candle light vigil at Memorial Park.
“These types of events help me to remember her and remember the sacrifice that my daughter gave,” said Felicia Hale, a Gold Star Mother who lost her daughter Donella R. Mackmiller in 2003. “But it is also nice to know that I am part of the community. I’m part of the family here at White Sands Missile Range.”
The goal for the ceremony was to make sure WSMR reached out to all of the Gold Star Mothers and Families in the area.
“It is important that we do this here at WSMR because we have to ensure the Families are remembered,” said Damaris Powe, ACS Outreach Service Program manager. “We don’t want them to think they are forgotten. It is our job to honor their sacrifice.”
According to the army.mil/goldstar website the United States began observing Gold Star Mother’s Day on the last Sunday of September, in 1936. The website also states: “The strength of our nation is our Army. The strength of our Army is our Soldiers. The strength of our Soldiers is our Families. The Army recognizes that no one has given more for the nation than the Families of the Fallen.”
“The first time we were invited I was honored,” Hale said. “It was great to know I was not forgotten and that Donella was not forgotten. When I first lost her I thought what’s next? The community here at White Sands reached out and it helps,” Hale said.
Service-members representing the Army, Air Force, and Navy as well as WSMR leadership, police, fire department and local families participated in the ceremony.