Insulting Gold Star women has a historyBreaking News
tags: Trump, Gold Star Families
For 11 years, Bessie Strawther longed for a chance to visit her son’s grave. Pvt. Henry Strawther, a black American soldier in a segregated infantry unit, had died fighting the German army on Oct. 6, 1918, nearly five weeks before World War I ended in armistice. Veterans in his home town of Urbana, Ohio, had named an American Legion post after him, but his body remained interred somewhere in France — an ocean away from his mother.
Then came an extraordinary proposal from the U.S. government. The War Department in 1929 created a program to send bereaved mothers and widows like Strawther on two-week, all-expense-paid trips to Europe to visit the final resting places of their sons and husbands. The journeys became known as the Gold Star mother and widow pilgrimages, named after the newly minted organization for women who had lost family members in the war.
In summer 1930, Strawther took a train from Urbana to New York City, where the War Department had arranged for her to board a commercial steamer bound for France.
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