Nat’l Gold Star Mother’s Day in Traverse City Honors Local Families of Fallen Soldiers

Today is National Gold Star Mother’s Day.

It’s a day that honors the families of the servicemen and women who died fighting for our freedom.

9 & 10’s Caroline Powers was at the first ceremony like this ever held in Traverse City and spoke to families about the support they need and the honor they never wanted…

“My son and the other men and women soldiers that have died it was all for our freedom, protecting us,” said Gaye Bishop, who was among those honored. “I can never ever be thankful enough for that.”

Not a day goes by when these people don’t think about those who fought and in many cases, died for our freedom.

That’s especially true today, when loved ones gathered for Northern Michigan’s first Gold Star ceremony.

Vietnam Veteran Calvin Murphy explains:

“[We do it] so the families are not forgotten,” said Murphy. “We move on, we remember the deceased veteran who lost his life in combat but we seem to forget the families. Their feelings just go on. You know they’ve lost somebody.”

National Gold Star Mother’s Day is celebrated only once a year…

But Gaye Bishop says thoughts of her son, who was killed in 2008, are with her every single day.

“I wear my dog tags every single day,” said Bishop. “I’ve never taken them off since they were presented to me at my son’s funeral and I never will. That is my way of honoring my son and never having his memory ever forgotten… I want to know that he did not die for nothing and all these other soldiers did not die for nothing. Their lives meant something.”

The ceremony both honors and brings families together and while the support is welcome… for most, it’s an honor they never wanted to receive.

“A gold star family, I mean it’s wonderful to be honored but at the same time it’s never really something you want to be a part of, but the support it’s there,” said Bishop. “You can tell your story and another parent can understand what you’re going through.”

“We come to these events as one and we honor the families, the veterans, that’s just what we do and we will continue,” promised Murphy.