TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The City of Tampa and Mayor Jane Castor are honoring Gold Star mothers and families Sunday night.
The city will fly the Gold Star Service Flag and light Old City Hall purple and gold.
Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day is recognized on the last Sunday in September to honor mothers and families who have lost a son or daughter in service to the U.S. Armed Forces.
“We cannot imagine the strength and resilience of our military families who have lost a loved one in service to our country,” Castor said. “Tampa is a tight knit community with a strong military presence, and by raising this flag we hope to show support to Gold Star families everywhere who have lost a son or daughter protecting our freedoms. We are forever grateful for the sacrifices made by our service members and the loved ones they left behind to carry their legacies.”
According to the United Service Organizations (USO), “the phrase ‘Gold Star Family’ dates back to World War I when military families displayed service flags featuring a blue star for every immediate family member serving in the Armed Forces. The star’s color would be changed to gold if the family lost a loved one in the war.”
“Our son was Corporal Frank Robert Gross,” said Craig Gross, about his son who was killed in combat in 2011.
“The city, as a whole, is not going to forget about the sacrifices that our sons and daughters have made,” he said, alluding to the touching tribute at city hall.
The Gross family remembers their son fondly and understands the importance of the last Sunday in September.
“This is a day to recognize those families and to remember their fallen heroes,” said Toni Gross.
Castor and city council member Luis Viera helped organize the event at city hall.
“To let them know, we are here for them. And we appreciate what they have gone through. And we will be behind them, every day,” the mayor said.
Below are some videos of the City of Tampa lit up in purple and gold to honor Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s.