Editors note: In honor of Gold Star Mothers Day, Truthdig brings you this letter from Karen Meredith, whose son Ken died in Iraq two years ago.
In 1994, President Bill Clinton proclaimed the last Sunday in September to be Gold Star Mothers Day. He said that we should “honor women whose sons and daughters have pledged their lives to securing for all Americans the blessings of liberty. These mothers have made tremendous sacrifices, the most painful being the loss of their children, and deserve the respect and recognition of the nation.”
Gold Star Mothers Day is not a Hallmark holiday to send flowers or cards. Gold Star Mothers Day 2006 should be a day for sober reflection about how President Bush set in place a new generation of Gold Star Mothers when he sent our children to fight his illegal war in Iraq. These new Gold Star Mothers will be his legacy as the War President he proudly claims himself to be.
The current president says we must honor the sacrifices of fallen soldiers by completing the mission. How will more bloodshed and more dying honor my son, who was killed in Iraq more than 2 years ago? The president can prevent the creation of new Gold Star Mothers. It is time for this president to put ALL options on the table and make necessary and immediate changes to his disastrous course in Iraq. He can start by bringing the troops home now.
We will never forget our loved ones; they will live forever in our hearts. On Sunday, the citizens of this country must remember our sacrifice and consider the human cost of this war. That and our broken hearts are something that Gold Star Mothers live with forever.
I AM the proud Gold Star Mother of Lt Ken Ballard, KIA 5.30.04, Najaf, Iraq
Ken Ballard’s homepage
Karen’s blog: Gold Star Mom Speaks Out