It’s a distinction that no mother wants, though certainly one to be proud of.
The last Sunday in September is nationally recognized as Gold Star Mother’s Day to honor those whose children have died while serving in the US military. Lake Havasu City Military Mom’s will hold its annual candle light ceremony Sunday at Wheeler Park to honor local Gold Star Moms and their children.
Military Moms President Cindy Ritter said it can be a difficult holiday for Gold Star mothers and family members, but it’s also an important one.
“This ceremony is one that I don’t particularly like to do because we are reminding these moms and their family members of the worst day of their life,” Ritter said. “But I feel that it is definitely something that needs to be done. We need to bring this to the forefront for our citizens that our freedom isn’t free, and we shouldn’t take it for granted.”
The ceremony will include a table set up with a lit candle for every fallen soldier whose parents are connected to Havasu that the Havasu Military Moms are aware of. Ritter said three Gold Star Mothers are planning to attend the ceremony this year, and the event will honor a total of 10 children of local Gold Star families.
Ritter said three of the fallen soldiers are from Lake Havasu City, two are from Parker, and the rest were born elsewhere in the country but their parents are now residents in Havasu.
“They obviously gave their life for all of us, so it doesn’t really matter where they are from,” Ritter said. “If the parents come forward we add them to the program.”
Ritter said the event’s emcee will read a little bit about each of the children including their hobbies and interests, and talk about where they were when they lost their life.
The event will also include speeches from State Sen. Sonny Borrelli and Lake Havasu City Magistrate Mitchell Kalauli. The Marine Corps League color guard will present the colors during the ceremony, and two musicians will play Echo Taps.
The ceremony is open to the public. It is scheduled to begin in Wheeler Park at 6 p.m. A battery-operated candle will be provided to attendees to hold during the ceremony.