On Gold Star Spouses’ Day, remember surviving military spouses and honor the legacy of their husbands and wives who died in service to our nation. These families have sacrificed so much and telling their stories keeps their memory alive for all of us to honor and remember.
Did You Know?
- The nation observes Gold Star Spouses’ Day on April 5 of each year.
- U.S. Congress recognized the first Gold Star Wives’ Day on December 18, 2010.
- In 1945, the Gold Star Wives of America, Inc., a non-profit organization, was established.
- In 1947, U.S. Congress approved the use of the Gold Star Lapel Button. This symbol consists of a gold star on a purple background, bordered in gold and surrounded by gold laurel leaves. It is for eligible survivors of service members who lose their lives during any armed hostilities in which the United States is engaged, dating back to World War I. This includes service members who lost their lives while deployed in support of military operations against the enemy of the United States, an international terrorist attack or a United Nations peacekeeping mission.
- Retroactive to 1973, the Lapel Button for Next of Kin of Deceased Personnel was introduced. This symbol consists of a gold star within a circle that commemorates his or her honorable service. The gold star is also surrounded by sprigs of oak that represent the branches of the Armed Forces. It is designated for eligible survivors of service members who lose their lives while serving honorably under circumstances not defined above. This includes service members who lost their lives while assigned to a Reserve or National Guard unit in a drill status.
- In 2008, Army Survivor Outreach Services was established. SOS is a “One Army” program, jointly administered by Army Community Service, the Army National Guard and Army Reserve, that works hand-in-hand with Casualty and Mortuary Affairs and Casualty Assistance centers across that Army to provide long-term, multi-component support services.
- Since 2011, U.S. Congress deemed April 5 as Gold Star Wives’ Day.
- As of 2016, the observance is referred to as Gold Star Spouses’ Day.