POINT PLEASANT — Representatives from the West Virginia Gold Star Mothers (WVGSM) stopped by the Point Pleasant City Council meeting on Monday evening giving a presentation and leaving the city with a gift.
WVGSM members Shirley White, Emma Johnson, Belinda Jividen, and Barbara Ulbrich brought with them an Honor and Remember Flag, so it may fly as a symbol of remembrance for all fallen military service members and their families in the City of Point Pleasant.
The ladies first explained to the council the significance of these flags.
White explained the Honor and Remember Flag was adopted as a West Virginia flag in 2011. In 2015, she and her fellow WVGSM representatives visited the legislature to ask if the flag could be flown at the State Capital in Charleston. Though the flag did fly, it was only flown on specific days, so last year the ladies returned to ask if the flag could fly everyday and now it does.
“It is our goal to see this flag flying in every city in West Virginia because this is on its way of becoming the national flag of sacrifice,” said White.
“Also a goal of ours, we would love to see families flying this flag,” added Jividen.
Ulbrich then explained the meaning of the design and details of the Honor and Remember Flag as follows:
The red field represents the blood spilled by brave men and women in America’s military throughout history, who gave their lives so that the nation would remain free. The white border beneath and surrounding the gold star recognizes the purity of sacrifice as there is no greater price an American can pay than to give his or her life in service to the country. The blue star represents active service in military conflict. Though this symbol originated with World War I, on this flag it signifies service in all wars from the American Revolution to present day. The gold star signifies the ultimate sacrifice of a warrior in active service who will not return home. Gold reflects the value of the life that was given. The folded flag signifies the final tribute to an individual life presented to the family for their significant loss. The flame is an eternal reminder of the spirit that has departed this life yet burns on in the memory of all who knew and loved the fallen hero.
“This flag was begun when a gentleman by the name of George Lutz lost his son Tony in Iraq,” said Jividen. “After the shock of grief, he realized in visiting other families of the fallen that there was nothing that signifies the loss from the Revolutionary War on to today.”
The Honor and Remember Flag signifies all of the fallen from as far back as the Revolutionary War up to the current situations and it is dedicated to the perpetual recognition of military fallen heroes and their families.
To close their presentation, each of the ladies said the names of their children/grandchildren who lost their lives serving this country.
“We are here today because we are representing our children, we are a service organization and we serve because our children aren’t here to serve, so that is our purpose in life right now is to take that service upon ourselves,” said White.
For those interested in learning more about the Honor and Remember Flags or would like to purchase a flag, visit www.HonorandRemember.org or contact the WVGSM.
Erin (Perkins) Johnson is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.