EDITORIAL: New Jersey is one of only three states to not have special license plates honoring those families whose sons, daughters, mothers, fathers and others died protecting us. And although two bills that would make them a reality are in the pipeline, it’s a shame they weren’t made law in time for Sunday, Sept. 26: Gold Star Mother’s Day.
47 states already have the special plates. We don’t. Why not?
It may seem a token gesture to some, but it carries great meaning for those who’ve felt the pain — and in North Jersey, there have been a great many families who have. That’s why Gold Star Mother’s Day has been observed in the U.S. on the last Sunday of September each year since World War I.
“These brave men and women paid the ultimate price defending our freedom, and asked for nothing in return,” Bergen County Sheriff Leo P. McGuire said. “We owe it to their families to recognize and honor their fallen loved ones for the sacrifices they made for our country.”
From March 20, 2003 through the end of “Operation Iraqi Freedom” nearly a month ago, more than 4,500 American soldiers were killed. These aren’t just numbers: These are incalculable losses, and they continue in Afghanistan. What better way to show them our respect than to urge our state lawmakers to move these bills through — pronto.
And while you’re at it, take a moment on Sunday to open your heart to a Gold Star Mother, whether you’re you‘re sitting somewhere alone, or in a house of worship or even at the supermarket. Better yet: Give one you know some love, in however way you choose.
It will mean so much.
GOLD STAR: Refers to the gold star on service flags displayed in the windows of homes of families who have lost a child to war. The Service Flag had a star for each family member in the military. Living servicemen are represented by a blue star. Gold Star Mothers are often socially active but are non-political. Membership is open to any American woman who has lost a son or daughter in the service of our country.
Jerry DeMarco Publisher/Editor
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