Why we honor Gold Star Spouses Day

Jessica Evans Avatar
Gold Star Spouses Day
Gold Star Spouses Luncheon April 18, 2019, at the MCM Elegante Suites hotel. (Photo by Scott Prater)

Each April 5, Gold Star Spouses Day celebrates the strength and sacrifice of military families. This special day is set aside to honor the spouses of fallen service members. This day is an opportunity for us to show our support and appreciation for the strength and sacrifice of military spouses. It goes without saying that milspouses play a vital role in supporting service members and their families. In fact, they’re often the ones who must pick up the pieces and carry on after a tragedy. Suffice it to say, they are true heroes, and we owe them a debt of gratitude.

What is a Gold Star Spouse?

The Gold Star spouse is someone who has lost their partner in service to our country. They are left with a lifetime of memories. However, what’s missing is the love they thought would last forever.

Wearing a gold star as a sign that a spouse has lost their loved one is an offshoot of the military tradition of displaying a service flag. Service flags are flown by military families to support their service members. Blue stars reflect that a person is service.

Gold Star Lapels

The Gold Star Lapel Button is a symbol of appreciation for honored service members. The design now includes those who lost their lives in non-combat operations. These days, it also includes laurel leaves on against purple backgrounds like before but with an extra dot at center top which represents them being next-of kind (substitute).

Gold Star Spouses Day logo

How to observe

Banks, federal institutions and most military installations will not close on Gold Star Spouses Day. However, there are several installation specific observances around this important day. Most are directly associated with the military way of life and can often include memorial runs.

1) Reach out to a grieving spouse in your life. Send them a card, give them a call, or take them out for coffee or lunch. Simply letting them know that you are thinking of them goes a long way.

2) Make a donation to a charity that supports military families who have lost someone. There are several, including the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) or the National Gold Star Family Registry.

3) Wear gold to show your support for these families. You can also share photos or messages of support on social media using the hashtag #GoldStarSpousesDay.

4) Take some time to learn about the history of military families and their experiences. Deployments are different for each family. So, learning about their experiences can help you better understand what these families have been through.

5) Spread the word about this important day! Let your friends, family, and co-workers know about this special day. Explain to non-military connected people why it is important to honor the spouses of our fallen heroes.

Gold Star Spouses Day family
Gold Star families interact with the art room features at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord children’s museum. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Karleshia Gater)

Gold Star Spouses Day + Gold Star Mother’s Day

Gold Star Spouses Day is an important day to remember the sacrifice made by military spouses who have lost their loved ones in service to our country. There are many ways to show your support for these families on this day. Reach out to spouses in your life. Or, make a donation to a charity that supports them. Another choice is to simply wear gold to show your solidarity. By taking some time to learn about mil families and spreading the word about this special day, we can help ensure that these families know they are not alone and that we stand with them always.

The last Sunday in September is a day that no parent wants to observe. Gold Star Mothers Day is a day to reflect on the sacrifices of military families. Specifically, it’s a day to honor mothers who have lost service members to combat. Each year, events, observances, and meetings are held around the country for Gold Star Mothers and their families.


When is Gold Star Mother’s Day?

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

When is Gold Star Spouses Day?

Spouses Day is observed on April 5 each year.

What is American Gold Star Manor?

The manor is located in Long Beach California. It’s a 348-unit retirement home for the parents of service members who have died in action.