Gold Star Mothers' Pilgrimage.

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Gold Star Mothers' Pilgrimage.

Berichtdoor Tandorini » 16 sep 2011, 09:38

Georgia McCleskey didn’t usually carry dirt in her suitcase when she traveled. But, on a steamy July afternoon in 1930, she climbed aboard a train in Fort Worth, Texas with both dirt and flower seeds tucked into her luggage. Before she left home, she dug up the dirt from a flower bed that her son Joe used to tend. She didn’t mind giving up the space in her suitcase for her unusual cargo because she was on a mission. Her mission was to plant the seeds, along with the soil, on her son’s grave in France. Joe McCleskey, an Army private, died in battle on 1 November 1918, just ten days before the Armistice. Georgia wasn’t the only woman carrying dirt in her luggage. Mary Crouch had a dozen jonquil bulbs and a box of dirt in her suitcase, too. The jonquils always bloomed on her son Hutt’s birthday. Mary wanted the flowers to bloom again on Hutt’s grave.

Georgia and Mary joined more than 6,600 mothers and widows who journeyed to Europe to visit the graves of their sons and husbands who died in World War I. These women participated in the Gold Star Mothers’ pilgrimages. Most of them traveled to Europe in 1930, although the final pilgrimage wasn’t completed until 1933.

The idea of a government-funded pilgrimage for families to visit the European graves of American servicemen emerged practically before the ink had dried on the peace treaty. Congressman Fiorello La Guardia submitted the first bill in May 1919. His bill wasn’t seriously considered and it failed. The idea, however, didn’t fade away. With heavy lobbying by the Gold Star Mothers Association, along with consistent press coverage, more bills appeared on the legislative agenda. Finally, in 1929, Congress passed a bill authorizing the War Department to undertake the massive project of arranging a trip to Europe for thousands of women.

Suggesting that this venture was a logistical nightmare would be putting it mildly. The project fell into the laps of the Army Quartermasters Corps, and they deftly shifted gears from outfitting thousands of soldiers to acting as travel agents and chaperones for thousands of elderly women. They planned every detail for each individual woman from the moment she stepped out of her front door. Roundtrip transportation to Europe, special passports, lodging, meals, sightseeing, ceremonies, medical attendants, interpreters, photographs at gravesites, extra bathrooms at the cemeteries – they tried to anticipate every possible need and snafu that might arise.

Overall, the whole unprecedented affair proved to be a smashing success. Like most ambitious undertakings, though, there were some incidents and controversy. Several women died on the trip, which wasn’t totally unexpected since most of the women were over 60 years old. Strict eligibility requirements left some women without a ticket to ride, although the rules were relaxed before the program ended. African-American women were segregated into separate groups and didn’t get the same swanky accommodations that the other women received. But in the end, most of the women had a trip of a lifetime. Yet, the purpose of the pilgrimage wasn’t overshadowed by visits to the Louvre and shopping in Paris. When Etta Christian returned from her trip she said, “It gave me peace and happiness . . . that at last I could weep at his grave since there was nothing else I could do for my baby.”

Whenever the government is involved, you can practically guarantee mounds of paperwork. And, where there are mounds of paperwork, there are equal mounds of family history tidbits. Even if the mother or widow of your WWI family member didn’t make the trip to Europe, there may be a file filled with family information.

The Quartermasters Corps determined that more than 17,000 women were eligible for the pilgrimage. The documents related to the pilgrimages are filed in the servicemen’s Burial Case Files. These files are part of Record Group 92, Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, and are housed at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. These case files can be hefty; the file for Missouri soldier Wilford A. Fair contains 200 pages. The documents concerning the Gold Star Mothers are filled with fascinating and occasionally heart-wrenching details. The files contain many, many pieces of correspondence regarding the women’s current circumstances, eligibility for the trip, itineraries, and an abundance of family clues including names, birth, death, and marriage dates, and addresses. Many of the women wrote sorrowful letters about their lost sons and husbands and how they wished they could go on the trip, but poor health and other obligations prevented them from going.

After mining the rich Burial Case Files, check historical newspapers on Ancestry.com. The pilgrimages were big news stories and many local papers interviewed women both before and after their trips. A number of communities sponsored receptions, and even parades, as send-offs for the women. The first round of trips in 1930 generated the most press, although the trips in subsequent years still received some coverage as well.

Don’t forget to check ship passenger lists on Ancestry.com. The pilgrims traveled by ship and you’ll find clusters of women with their passports identified as “Gold Star Passports.”

In December of 1929 the War Department sent a list of women eligible to make the trip to Congress. This list was printed as the List of Mothers and Widows of American Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines Entitled to Make a Pilgrimage to War Cemeteries in Europe. You can find an index of this document on Ancestry.com . Not every Gold Star woman is in this index, though, as several thousand more women were later added to the eligibility list.

In addition to creating a plethora of documents that make genealogists giddy, the Gold Star Mothers pilgrimages produced a fascinating chapter in our history. As we remember all of our veterans on Veteran’s Day, the saga of the mothers’ pilgrimages reminds us of the families that our fallen heroes left behind.







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Avatar:De Siciliaanse vlag,oorspronkelijk uit 1282,de triskelion (trinacria) in het midden,is van oorsprong een oud Keltisch zonnesymbool.


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Re: Gold Star Mothers' Pilgrimage.

Berichtdoor Tandorini » 16 sep 2011, 10:28







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NEC JACTANTIA NEC METU ("zonder woorden, zonder vrees")

Avatar:De Siciliaanse vlag,oorspronkelijk uit 1282,de triskelion (trinacria) in het midden,is van oorsprong een oud Keltisch zonnesymbool.


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Re: Gold Star Mothers' Pilgrimage.

Berichtdoor Tandorini » 16 sep 2011, 15:48

De medaille in mijn vorige post werd uitgereikt door United States Lines aan de vrouwen die naar Europa reisden, de medaille werd gemaakt door Tiffany & Co.

Onderstaand is de Gold Star Mothers Medal die uitgereikt werd aan alle pelgrims die de tocht maakten naar Europa:

Dit is de medaille van Mrs. Minnie Wagner uit Peoria, Illinois, moeder van Pvt. Charles F. Wagner, Co. G, 7th Infantry, 3rd Division, hij sneuvelde op 10/11/18.


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NEC JACTANTIA NEC METU ("zonder woorden, zonder vrees")

Avatar:De Siciliaanse vlag,oorspronkelijk uit 1282,de triskelion (trinacria) in het midden,is van oorsprong een oud Keltisch zonnesymbool.


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Re: Gold Star Mothers' Pilgrimage.

Berichtdoor Tandorini » 16 sep 2011, 18:46

The War Mother Goes "Over There"
By MAJOR Louis C. WILSON Q.M.C.
The Quartermaster Review
May-June 1930

A MOST tremendous appeal to patriotic fervor, to gratitude, and to sentiment, is now materializing in the pilgrimages provided by our government for the mothers and widows of our countrymen who made the supreme sacrifice in the World War, and whose bodies remain in the soil on which they fell in the great cause. History fails to show that any nation at any time ever undertook before a pilgrimage of this kind or magnitude, regardless of the extent of its appreciation for lives laid down and for the dear ones left behind to mourn.

These gold star mothers and war widows will, in their journey to and from this American sacred ground in foreign lands, be truly guests of our grateful nation; for the plans, both in major items and in the smallest of details, contemplate their complete convenience and comfort.

THE ARRANGEMENTS FOR A TYPICAL WAR MOTHER AND WIDOW

Let us, for the purpose of illustrating the extent of such plans, take a concrete example of a mother who is eligible for the pilgrimage and who has accepted the invitation extended by our government. Her name is Mrs. Brown, and she lives next door to us in the little western town of Smithville. We have known her for many years, and we knew her boy, too. In fact, we saw him off that day when the whole town turned out to say "Goodbye" to "our boys" when they were leaving for the training camps were all so proud of them, but now, as we look back upon that day, it seems, somehow or other, that Mrs. Brown, and the mothers or wives of some other hometown boys who did not return from that mission, were outstanding in their affection for and pride in their loved ones. We mention this to show what interest we have in Mrs. Brown's comfort in this, what will be to her, perhaps, a wonderful experience, permitting her to see what has been done by our government to perpetuate the memory of her boy, and of all the other heroic dead who lie in consecrated ground across the sea. Knowing her as we do, and realizing the many steps that have been taken to make comfortable her trip to the last mortal resting place of her son, we are looking forward to hearing her relate all her experiences upon her return to Smithville. We know that the recollection of the trip will be a source of great comfort and reflection for our next door neighbor.

But let us anticipate, at least to some extent, what Mrs. Brown will tell us about, when she gets back home, by running over a few of the arrangements made by the authorities in charge and with a view to seeing that she will have never a worry or care.

Mrs. Brown is making her plans as though some "influential" friend, with "means", had invited her to take a trip to Europe, which is exactly the case. Her host has, by letter, made suggestions to her as to a number of things, such as to the advisability of taking along only clothing that is simple in style and of medium weight and warmth, and that she should be sure to include a pair of comfortable walking shoes, and by no means to overlook taking a warm coat and a pair of overshoes. He has also advised her to take not more than two pieces of baggage, the total weight of which will not exceed 100 pounds. All these helpful hints and suggestions, Mrs. Brown will, of course, follow to the letter in planning to sail on the United States Lines S. S. "George Washington," on May 21, 1930. All the 5,000 or more mothers and widows making the pil­grimage this year will travel on boats of the fleet owned and operated by the United States Lines, an American corporation. Mrs. Brown is going on the "George Washington" because that sailing fits in with the system adopted so that mothers and widows from the same State could travel together in the same group. In fact, there is a widow in our town going at the same time as Mrs. Brown, which will make it pleasant for both of them, more especially as to the train trip to and from New York.

Verder lezen:


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Avatar:De Siciliaanse vlag,oorspronkelijk uit 1282,de triskelion (trinacria) in het midden,is van oorsprong een oud Keltisch zonnesymbool.


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Re: Gold Star Mothers' Pilgrimage.

Berichtdoor Tandorini » 16 sep 2011, 18:49

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NEC JACTANTIA NEC METU ("zonder woorden, zonder vrees")

Avatar:De Siciliaanse vlag,oorspronkelijk uit 1282,de triskelion (trinacria) in het midden,is van oorsprong een oud Keltisch zonnesymbool.


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Re: Gold Star Mothers' Pilgrimage.

Berichtdoor Tandorini » 16 sep 2011, 19:05

Twee gedichten van Gold Star Mothers:

The News
It's Monday, I am doing laundy thinking of you my dear son
I hear a car pull up and I go to the door to see
I see the two men in uniform
My heart begins to race
Thoughts of no, no, no, go away, please go away
Oh God, let it not be my son
He is so young, no I am not done loving him

I open the door and they say we are sorry...
NO NO NO I scream
They continue, the President of the United States
regrets to inform you of the death of your son

The rest of their words falls on deaf ears
I feel my heart breaking so badly
I fall to the floor saying...
my son is no more....

Kerry "Doc" Pardue
----------------
Gold Star Mom
The banner was small,but the star was large,
The color of a blue, night sky.
She hung it in the window with trembling fingers
And tried hard not to cry.
He was so young to go far away
As all soldiers have to do. She knew that danger
Lurked everywhere,
As she touched the star of blue.
The weeks went by, the months rolled on
She knew he would not die.
Her faith in God held her head up high.
In her heart she sang a song.
But the battles raged. The news was not good
Why did so many have to die? She was cold,
And she felt terribly old
As the day came that she faced with dread.
When a knock on the door
Shattered her life evermore,
And the blue star turned to gold.

Esther B. Campbell Gates, San Antonio, TX
I lost my son, combat medic Keith Allen Campbell, DSC, BSM, PH 8 Feb 1967 in Vietnam.
I will always miss him.
------
De "Gold Star Mothers Day" wordt altijd de laatste zondag van september gehouden in de Verenigde Staten.
Elke moeder of echtgenote van een gesneuvelde soldaat krijgt een gouden ster in de vorm van een pin, voor moeders van meerdere gesneuvelde zonen kunnen dit meerdere pins zijn.
Tot op de dag van vandaag wordt deze gouden ster uitgereikt door het Amerikaanse Ministerie van Defensie.
NEC JACTANTIA NEC METU ("zonder woorden, zonder vrees")

Avatar:De Siciliaanse vlag,oorspronkelijk uit 1282,de triskelion (trinacria) in het midden,is van oorsprong een oud Keltisch zonnesymbool.


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Re: Gold Star Mothers' Pilgrimage.

Berichtdoor Tandorini » 16 sep 2011, 19:51




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The telegram from the military that turned blue star mothers into gold star mothers.

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Hannah Snidow, a 66-year-old Willamette, OR gold star mother, sits next to her son's headstone at the St. Mihiel cemetery in France in 1930. Her son was Private George Milner Snidow.

Mrs. Snidow was one of approximately 6,800 gold star mothers and widows who traveled to the European graves where their children or husbands had been buried. As part of the Gold Star Pilgrimages, the women traveled at government expense under the care of the Army Quartermaster Corps during the spring and summer of 1930 - 1933.
NEC JACTANTIA NEC METU ("zonder woorden, zonder vrees")

Avatar:De Siciliaanse vlag,oorspronkelijk uit 1282,de triskelion (trinacria) in het midden,is van oorsprong een oud Keltisch zonnesymbool.


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Re: Gold Star Mothers' Pilgrimage.

Berichtdoor Tandorini » 17 sep 2011, 08:32

Gold Star Mothers pin.

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NEC JACTANTIA NEC METU ("zonder woorden, zonder vrees")

Avatar:De Siciliaanse vlag,oorspronkelijk uit 1282,de triskelion (trinacria) in het midden,is van oorsprong een oud Keltisch zonnesymbool.


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Re: Gold Star Mothers' Pilgrimage.

Berichtdoor Tandorini » 26 mei 2012, 07:48

Het verhaal van Ellen Murphy:

NEC JACTANTIA NEC METU ("zonder woorden, zonder vrees")

Avatar:De Siciliaanse vlag,oorspronkelijk uit 1282,de triskelion (trinacria) in het midden,is van oorsprong een oud Keltisch zonnesymbool.


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