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Gold Star Families gather for memorial service outside state Capitol

Sep 23 2023
Chris Rosato | WAFB

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - In the words of some of the mothers, it’s a club you never want to become a member of. And once a part of it, things will never be the same.

“I can’t hear the national anthem…or say the pledge of allegiance… without becoming totally emotional,” Gold star mother Ruth Reed shared with the audience.

To honor the families of our fallen soldiers, the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs along with the Louisiana Chapter of Blue Star Mothers hosted a memorial service outside the state Capitol and laid a wreath signifying their sacrifice.

“Our participation today we brought down the beautiful gold star wreath, we were able to do that, and it was our honor to remember those that sacrificed everything,” Jayme Watson with the Blue Star Mothers explained.

One by one families shared the names and rank of their lost loved ones and when they passed away.

“He was my best friend, he was roommate at pilot training, and we served together for almost 10 years. And before our 10-year reunion he was killed in action. And uh…. I remember him today, I remember his family, his wife was pregnant when he was killed,” said Gen. Paul Tibbets IV while telling a story about his old best friend.

“To get together and share feelings and remember our loved ones is very special. And just that other people and understand the sacrifice…is very meaningful to us,” said Gold Star Mother Mary Beth Levan as she explained how being with other families can be healing.

A free lunch was provided for families to mingle and share stories with one another, to grieve, and to pray. Events like these serve as a reminder to all of us that the price of freedom is never free.