Gold Star Mothers
When the United States entered World War I, George Vaughn Seibold volunteered. He was attached to the British Royal Flying Corps. His squadron was assigned to combat duty in France. He regularly corresponded with his family, but then the letters stopped. Since aviators were under the control of the British, his family had a difficult time getting information about what might have happened. His mother, Grace Darling Seibold, faithfully visited wounded veterans, and she clung to the hope that George might be injured, but alive, perhaps sent back to the U.S. without identification.
When Grace visited hospitals looking for him, she did her best to ease the mental and physical pain of wounded veterans. She wanted to be a stand-in for mothers who were unable to care for their children. Then on October 11, 1918, George’s wife received a box of his possessions, along with confirmation of his death. His body was never identified.
George’s mother refused to succumb to grief. She was determined to help others in her situation. In 1928, she and twenty-four other mothers of deceased veterans met in Washington, D-C. Grace Seibold named the new organization Gold Star Mothers after the common practice of families hanging banners with gold stars in their windows when they lost someone in war.
On this date in 1930, Gold Star Mothers were honored in Bismarck. When the cornerstone was laid at the new Burleigh County building, the occasion was used to acknowledge the sacrifice of Gold Star mothers.
Eight mothers were chosen as guests of honor. Harold Shaft of the American Legion was head of the committee that arranged the ceremony. He said that the building was being erected in honor of the country’s heroic dead. The committee felt that no one could better represent them than the mothers who had suffered such a terrible loss. Shaft said the honor was an inadequate, but sincere recognition of America’s mothers and the sacrifices they make. He said no one could better represent the occasion than “these women whose sons fill heros’ graves.”
John Burke, chief justice of the state supreme court, gave the address. He hoped that someday there would be no need for the Gold Star Mother organization.
Dakota Datebook written by Carole Butcher
Grand Forks Herald, July 30, 1930
merican Gold Star Mothers, Inc. "http://www.goldstarmoms.com/WhoWeAre/History/History.htm" http://www.goldstarmoms.com/WhoWeAre/History/History.htm