Lighting Honors the Families of American Service Members Who Sacrificed Their Lives in the Line of Duty
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that 14 landmarks across New York will be illuminated with gold lights on Sunday, September 25 in honor of Gold Star Mother's and Family's Day.
"On Gold Star Mother's and Family's Day, we as a Nation are reminded that the freedom we enjoy every day does not come without sacrifice," Governor Hochul said. "New York State will never forget the sacrifice of our heroes and patriots who perished in the line of duty, and we will continue to provide the highest level of support and services for our Gold Star Mothers and Families."
Each year the last Sunday in September is nationally recognized as Gold Star Mother's and Family's Day. Gold Star Families are those who have lost a loved one who was serving during a time of conflict. The term "Gold Star" was used during World War I and referred to a Gold Star being affixed over the Blue Star of the United States Service Flag.
State capitals across the country recognize Gold Star Mother's and Families on this day of remembrance by lighting luminaries or buildings in gold to honor these families' sacrifices.
New York State has several programs for Gold Star Parents to ensure continuous services and assistance are provided for those who have given so much. Some of these include the Gold Star Parent Annuity program, and New York's Military Enhanced Recognition Incentive and Tribute - or MERIT - Scholarship for families of service members who lost their lives while serving this nation. Additionally, the State continues to partner with Gold Star organizations throughout the State, as well as local County Veteran Service Organizations to increase awareness of programs to assist Gold Star Families.
Landmarks to be lit include:
- One World Trade Center
- Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge
- Kosciuszko Bridge
- The H. Carl McCall SUNY Building
- State Education Building
- Alfred E. Smith State Office Building
- Empire State Plaza
- State Fairgrounds - Main Gate & Expo Center
- Niagara Falls
- The "Franklin D. Roosevelt" Mid-Hudson Bridge
- Albany International Airport Gateway
- The Lake Placid Olympic Jumping Complex
- MTA LIRR - East End Gateway at Penn Station
- Fairport Lift Bridge over the Erie Canal
Viviana DeCohen, Director of the New York State Division of Veterans' Services, said, "Gold Star Mother's and Families understand the meaning of service before self and embody this philosophy each day in their continued work to honor the legacy of their loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifice for our State and Nation. It is our solemn duty and honor to ensure they receive the highest quality support and care which we strive each day to continue providing for them."
Support for Gold Star Families
To assist individuals with accessing the Gold Star Parent Annuity and the MERIT Scholarship, please make an appointment with a Veterans Benefits Advisors with the New York State Division of Veterans' Services at 888-838-7697 or on their website.