Supporters of an initiative to make Sept. 26 Gold Star Family Day gathered at an event in the Illinois Capitol Rotunda to witness an official proclamation by Gov. Bruce Rauner.
According to a press release, Gov. Rauner signed bill HB4389 to create Gold Star Family Day at the Illinois State Fair in August. His proclamation reserved the day after Gold Star Mothers’ Day for family recognition.
“Today, it was an honor to be gathered here in the Capitol Rotunda to celebrate our first Gold Star Family Day in Illinois, ” Rauner said. “Yesterday was Gold Star Mothers’ Day; today we celebrate all the family members who have experience unimaginable loss.”
Gold Star families are survivors of fallen military men and women killed in the line of duty.
Several Gold Star families, the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Survivor Outreach filled the rotunda to hear commemorative remarks.
Speaker James Frazier’s son, Illinois National Guard Staff Sgt. Jacob Frazier, died in combat Sept. 11, 2001.
“We don’t want to leave out all of the family members,” Frazier said. “We have grandparents, and aunts, and uncles, and cousins who suffer this loss. So to have a Gold Star Family Day, which is encompassing everyone, we truly appreciate that.”
Legislators hope the law will bring awareness to the sacrifices made by Gold Star families for years to come.