By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason Amadi, Naval District Washington Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- WASHINGTON (NNS) -Naval District Washington (NDW) hosted the third annual Gold Star Mother's and Family Day observance on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Sept. 24.
The Gold Star Mother's and Family Day event honors and recognizes families that lost sons, daughters, siblings and spouses who served in the military. Rear Adm. Charles Rock, commandant Naval District Washington and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON), Steven Giordano attended the event and served as guest speakers.
"Today, not only do we honor the sacrifice of our Gold Star Families, we also reaffirm our commitment to provide the necessary care, long-term assistance and support to the individuals who carry forward the memories of those willing to lay down their lives for the United States and the liberties for which we stand," said Rock.
The event had a panel of Gold Star family members who shared stories of their loss and how they approached the healing process.
"I can't even imagine the pain they felt when they received the news of their losses," said NDW Command Master Chief Bobby Anderson. "Lois Drury talked about losing her son, Madeline Murphy shared her story of losing her father to cancer, Paul Murphy lost his brother and Nicole Busey lost her husband. Each story they shared was very passionate and showed how beneficial being part of this great team can be."
Words shared by MCPON and Rear Adm. Rock were appreciated by those who attended.
"The event went well because we have a community that embraces this program," said Patsy Jackson, NDW regional Navy Gold Star coordinator. "When you get some of the top leadership in the Navy to embrace the program on behalf of the entire Navy, it means a lot."
"It means that our families know that they're supported from the top down. Their talk to our families let them know how important they are. Of all the other things they could have been doing on a Sunday, they chose to be with our families," said Jackson.
Jackson feels days like Gold Star Mother's Day and Gold Star Family Day are essential to honoring and remembering the sacrifice of the service member.
"We hope that a program like this brings awareness to Gold Star families and that when you see them, you respect, remember and thank them and let them know their loved one is not forgotten," said Jackson.