Each Memorial Day weekend, American Gold Star Mothers look forward to being in Washington, D.C., with Rolling Thunder. We talk about the previous years we have been on the ride and how thrilling it is. We talk about the riders we have met and the friends we have made. This relationship was special from the beginning of the event and it still is in 2019.
In the beginning, the Gold Star Mothers were the age of the mothers of the riders. The mothers who had lost their children in Vietnam wanted this relationship with someone who was close to the age of the child that died serving their country. It meant so much to the mothers and to the riders. It has carried these Gold Star Mothers through many years with living without their child. We continued those traditions for many years, and now the “Vietnam Moms,” as we call them, rarely get to come to Memorial Day, but they carry the memories of the many rides and hold them in their hearts.
It means so much to all of us who have lost our child who served their country, to be included and treated so special. We hope to honor those who have served by being there for all of them. It is especially meaningful to be with them in Washington, D.C., and at the Wall. We will never forget. As we ride through the streets, we are filled with pride just to be a part of it all. The flags are waving and so are we.
This year, the weekend is even more special and we know that there may be many changes in the coming years. Just know that American Gold Star Mothers will always be there, whether it is one of us or many of us. This reunion is dear to us, and when we see the thousands who have come to hear the roar of the engines and see the flags waving, we are filled with pride just to be a part of this historic day.
We offer our heartfelt gratitude to each rider who commits to this ride and weekend. We know that our children would have loved this. I know they look down from heaven and see that we are there for all the veterans, riders and for their memory. I can hear them saying, “You go, Mom!”
Thank you Rolling Thunder for always remembering Gold Star Mothers everywhere. Thank you for remembering our children. We appreciate all your support and love. You protect us and appreciate us, and we love you. We can never thank you enough. Our mission is to support you and all veterans and we cherish the relationship. We are Mothers On A Mission, A Powerful Force! We are there for you!
• Becky Christmas is the 2018-2019 National President of American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. Becky is from Wagon Mound, New Mexico, where she and her Army veteran husband, Brad Christmas, raised their three sons on their family ranch. CPT Todd Christmas, her oldest son, was killed on 29 November 2004, in a Black Hawk helicopter crash close to Fort Hood. Todd had returned from a year deployment to Iraq and was a passenger on the Black Hawk.