Gold Star Mothers Honor and Remember the Fallen – Perrysville
PERRYSVILLE — “The groves of trees sway in the wind, like soldiers standing guard over memories.”
Rebecca Frank, president of the Ohio Department of Gold Star Mothers, lost her son, Captain Warren Frank, in Iraq in 2008, earning her the bittersweet-but-honorary title as a gold star mother.
Frank, donned in traditional white garb, spoke the words quoted above during Gold Star Mothers Day at the Mohican Memorial Shrine where many gathered to honor soldiers both living and dead.
The day was first set apart by Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 23, 1936 when a congressional resolution was passed that designated the last Sunday of September as National Gold Star Mothers Day.
In 1947, the Mohican Memorial Shrine was dedicated and since then, the “great books” have been updated with names of all the fallen soldiers from Ohio. Several folders, stored in the shrine, contain the names of the beloved men and women who have died serving the country.
“Last year we had to add seven names to the list,” said Chairperson of the Memorial Shrine Trustees Stephanie Rouse, adding that the books are taken out only once per year, on National Gold Star Mothers Day.
“But I’m proud to say that we did not have to add any new names to the list this year,” Rouse reported to the applauding crowd.
According to Assistant Chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources David Lane, the shrine is open 365 days per year. The ODNR’s division of forestry maintains the grounds of the shrine.
“The shrine serves as a living memory to honor the men and women lost in war,” Lane said.
He offered his thanks to those who served in World War II, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan — and all those who are serving currently.
Among the crowd were veterans, current service men and women and blue star families and mothers. A blue star mother is a mother who’s son or daughter is currently serving in the military, explained Buckeye Military Moms Chairperson Lynn Feldman.
To conclude the ceremony, Frank and President of the Ohio Federation of Women’s Clubs Lisa Hedrick placed wreaths at the base of the flagpole which stands in front of the shrine.
There was also a flag folding ceremony and former US Army Band members Dan Carey and Steve Seckman blew the TAPS notes on their bugles.
– Dillion Carr / Richland Source Reporter
Attending from the Sons of the American Revolution, Ohio Society were Don McGraw, State Society President, Dan Matheke, Society Northern District Chair, Steve Kelley, General Henry Knox Chapter President, Ernie Moreland, General Henry Knox Chapter, and Chuck Bundy, Hocking Valley Chapter.