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WHEREAS, the term “Gold Star” began during World War I when American families displayed flags in homes, businesses, schools, and churches with a gold star for each loved one lost in military service; and
WHEREAS, today, the nation recognizes the sacrifice that all Gold Star Family members make when a father, mother, husband, wife, brother, sister, daughter, son or other loved one dies in active service to the nation; and
WHEREAS, fewer than one percent of our nation serve in our military, and we have an obligation to acknowledge the losses of our service men and women, and to ensure that their families are not forgotten; and
WHEREAS, during the month of May, we honor those who lost a family member who was in active service in the United States Armed Forces; and
WHEREAS, during this month, we remember our commitment to Gold Star Families, who carry on with pride and courage despite their tragic losses;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize May 2018 as GOLD STAR AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.