Hawaii Governor Signs Gold Star Proclamation

Hawaii Governor David Y. Ige signed a Gold Star proclamation in the governor’s ceremonial room at the state capitol on May 17. In attendance was Rear Admiral John Fuller, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, Gold star family members from all military services as well as representatives of the Navy Region Southwest Gold Star program and Navy League Honolulu Council. The gold star family program provides long-term support to surviving families of service members who die while on active duty.

Photo by Ensign Britney Duesler

According to the Region Gold Star Coordinator, Hawaii may be the first state to hold such an event this year. Gold Star families from all branches of service will be recognized.

Through the program, families may be afforded long-term assistance through coordinators offering to assist on an array of benefits and entitlements.

In Hawaii the Army and Navy have the only gold star programs in the state. Families from any service can register with either one of the gold star programs.

The gold star first made an appearance during World War I after being placed over a service flag’s blue star when a service member was killed in combat. The gold star signified the family’s pride in the loved one’s sacrifice rather than the mourning of their personal loss.

Today surviving family members are presented with a lapel pin as a sign of remembrance. The pin may feature a gold star on a purple background or a gold star surrounded by laurel leaves.

A gold star on a purple background recognizes combat related losses dating back to World War I, including service members who lose their lives while deployed in support of military operations against the enemy or during an international terrorist attack.

A gold star surrounded by laurel leaves and sprigs of oak that represent the branches of the Armed Forces. It is designated for eligible survivors of service members who lose their lives while serving honorably under circumstances not defined above.  This includes service members who lose their lives while assigned to a Reserve or National Guard unit in a drill status.

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