Every Gold Star Mother and Widow going abroad as a guest of the United States Government on the pilgrimage to visit the grave of her son is being presented with a gold star medal and an engraved certificate which she can always treasure as a souvenir of this sacred journey. These mothers will continue to go abroad on American ships this year until the latter part of August, returning as late as the latter part of October. The gold star medals are being presented to the mothers’ by Paul W. Chapman, president of the United States Lines. The initial presentation was made at the official and final farewell given these mothers when the first contingent sailed aboard the America, in command of Captain George Fried, of rescue fame. The medal, designed and made by Tiffany, is accompanied by the certificate with the name of the recipient inscribed. Each one bears inscriptions by President Hoover, President Doumergue of France and General Pershing.
The inscription by President Hoover is as follows: “To the patriotic mothers who gave their sons, to the many other loyal women who lost those dear to them for their country’s sake . . . we owe a deep debt of gratitude.” President Doumergue’s tribute is: “On the occasion of the contemplated pilgrimage of the Gold Star Mothers of America to the places where their heroic sons rest, I take the opportunity of addressing to them In the name of all France, a message of respectful understanding and of cordial welcome.” General Pershing says: “We silently bow our heads in sympathy with the mothers and widows whose willing gift to the nation was more precious than life Itself.” The certificate also carries a photograph of both sides of the medal and has inscribed, below the name of the Gold Star Mother: “In memory of the supreme sacrifice we have the honor to present to you this gold star medallion symbolizing your pilgrimage to the battlefields of the world war.” During this year 4,000 Gold Star Mothers are expected to make the pilgrimage which continues in 1931 and 1932. They will all be transported aboard American ships to and from Europe.
Paul W. Chapman, president of the United States Lines, presenting a Gold Star Medal to Mrs. Helen K. Williamson, of West Palm Beach, Florida, at the farewell to the first contingent. To the right of Mrs. Williamson is Captain George Fried, of rescue fame, Mrs. Nicholas Norman Nock, chairman, Gold Star Mothers’ Committee; General Charles P. Summerall, chief of staff, and Mrs. Virgil McClure, national president, American War Mothers. Inset shows Gold Star Medal.