MILITARY MATTERS: Pushing For A Gold Star Children’s Day In August

Published: Aug. 3, 2023 at 7:31 PM EDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WTVM) - One Mississippi woman, who lost her Air Force hero dad in war, has been unrelenting in her efforts to get August 1 declared as “Gold Star Children’s Day.” It’s gone all the way to the U.S. capitol.

It’s a designation no family wishes for: the “Gold Star” status. These are the immediate loved ones of our fallen military members serving in action. Dawn Moore is one of about 20,000 Gold Star children in America, resulting from Vietnam losses alone. That’s according to research from a group called “Sons and Daughters in Touch.”

“We have our own group, and we’ve sat back over 60 years and have felt forgotten,” Diane Moore said.

Gold Star Mother’s Day is nationally observed on the last Sunday of every September.

From sea to shining sea, every April 5 is reserved for Gold Star Spouses. Until Wednesday, there’s never been a nationally recognized holiday honoring their children.

That’s something Moore would fight years to have acknowledged in Mississippi and beyond.

She brainstormed with a fellow Gold Star brother in Alabama - each successfully pushing for a “Gold Star Children’s Day” on August 1.

“He says, ‘That’s great, so, we have two states: Alabama and Mississippi, right next to each other’. I said, ‘Yes, and I’m going to go one higher’,” Moore said.

She called on U.S. Senator Roger Wicker to take her request to the capital, not surrendering in her long fought battle.

“We are now recognized by the United States, and by two different states,” Moore said. “Sometimes it takes a warrior’s strength, and then, to realize, wait a minute, I have the warrior’s blood.”

To us, he was a wartime hero. To Moore, it’s her dad who went missing on Halloween 1965.

“On that day, when they were 30 miles from Saigon, out came multiple Vietcong guerrilla, and they took the van and my dad and the other three,” Moore said.

Chief Master Sergeant Thomas Moore joined the then-called Army Air Force when he was 18. He was part of the Air Force’s branching off.Among many honors, he earned the Soldier’s Medal of Valor for once saving a civilian worker. Moore was only 11 years old when she got the news about her dad.

“I picked up the telegram myself and read it, and it is instilled in my head,” Moore said.

A confirmed prisoner of war, Moore’s father is still listed as “missing in action”.

Biloxi’s Mayor remains the only city leader in Mississippi to proclaim August 1 as Gold Star Children’s Day. He also worked to establish this Gold Star Families memorial monument, standing today near the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor.

“It’s a day to remember our fathers or our mothers, but it’s a day to tell the public, ‘Hey, there’s another section’,” Moore added.

“The children of our nation’s fallen patriots make a sacrifice that is difficult to comprehend,” Senator Wicker said, in a statement.