On Nov. 4, Missouri’s State Capitol will become the site of the Missouri Gold Star Families Memorial, which was created to preserve the memory of our country’s fallen soldiers and stand as a stark reminder that freedom is not free. It is a fitting time for this dedication as Veterans Day is Nov. 11.
The gold plaque recognizing the memorial was donated by the Federated Garden Clubs of Missouri. It will be at the southeast corner of the Capitol, on Capitol Avenue. The site was requested by the garden club, through the Missouri State Capitol Commission and is the first Gold Star Memorial that any garden club has dedicated at a state capitol in the United States.
This memorial will stand as a tribute to all families of fallen soldiers, who are referred to as Gold Star Families.The Department of Defense presents one of two lapel pins to Gold Star Family members. The pins are worn by the survivors to recognize their sacrifices and as a way for others to pay tribute to them. The first pin is the Gold Star lapel pin, which was established by Congress in 1947 and is presented to spouses and family members of service members killed in combat. The second pin is the Next of Kin lapel pin, which is presented to immediate family members of service members who die while serving outside of combat operations.
The memorial dedication will be part of a program celebrating Veterans Week on Nov. 4. The day will start with the dedication of the memorial at 10 a.m., followed by a ceremony with a B-2 bomber flyover, recognition of veterans and comments by distinguished guests.
There are only two other Gold Star Memorial locations in Missouri, one is located at the College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout and the other is at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis.
Veterans Day will be celebrated across our nation on Nov. 11. While this day presents an opportunity to pay tribute to all of those who have served our country, offering our thanks, appreciation and support is something we should do each and every day.
Robert F. (Bob) Onder, Jr.
Contacting Sen. Onder
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