Sacramento– Assembly Republican Whip, Devon J. Mathis (R-Porterville), announced today that Governor Newsom has signed his bill, Assembly Bill (AB) 1762, into law. This bill authorizes a nonprofit organization representing Gold Start families to build a monument to the Gold Star Families of California on the grounds of the California State Capitol.
“I’m always humbled by the recognition that veterans like myself receive. However, ask any service member and they’ll tell you that their heroes are their families, and those who served alongside them but never made it home” Mathis said. “No families have made a greater sacrifice to our country than Gold Star Families. I’m grateful that Governor Newsom recognizes this. While there is no replacement for those who’ve lost loved ones, I know this monument will touch the hearts of all who see it.”
The title of Gold Star Family is reserved for families of military members who have died in the line of duty. The history of Gold Star Families began in the United States shortly after World War I. During this conflict, the custom arose when families of service members would hang a service flag in the window of their homes, displaying a blue star for every living family member in the service and a gold star for those who had perished. Since then, this practice now forms a vital part of our Country’s military community, history and tradition.
“I’m beyond grateful to my colleagues Asm. Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova), Asm. Heath Flora (R-Ripon), Asm. James Ramos (D-Highland), and Asm. Randy Voepel (R-Santee) for joint-authoring this bill and for their leadership on this issue,” Mathis added.
“This is for those in every war who fell to be honored,” added Asm. Voepel, himself a Vietnam Veteran, underscoring the inextricable link between fallen service members and their families.
The Gold Star Families Monument Act also received support from the American-Legion Department of California, AMVETS-Department of California, California State Commanders Veterans Council, and the Military Officers Association of America-California Council of Chapters.
“It is important that California remembers and honors the men and women of our military who gave their lives to defend our freedoms,” Legislative Advocate Dana Nichol said on behalf of the aforementioned Veterans groups. “It is also important to honor the families who lost loved ones in war. The proposed memorial will provide hope and healing to those grieving the loss of their children, siblings, parents, and spouses.”
The State Capitol grounds host the California Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Purple Heart Memorial, and two Civil War Veterans memorials. This is the first monument honoring service members’ families.