The Gold Star Mother Pilgrimages of the 1930s: Overseas Grave Visitations by Mothers and Widows of Fallen U.S. World War I Soldiers

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During the first World War, a flag with a gold star identified families who had lost soldiers. Grieving women were "Gold Star" mothers and widows. Between 1930 and 1933, the United States government took 6,654 Gold Star pilgrims to visit their sons' and husbands' graves in American cemeteries in Belgium, England, and France. Veteran Army officers acted as tour guides, helping women come to terms with their losses as they sought solace and closure. The government meticulously planned and paid for everything from ...

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