June 3, 2021 (Photo Credit: All photos courtesy of Miguel Dominic)
Pocatello Idaho Gold Star Family Memorial
By: AMVETS Idaho Post 1 Provost Marshal Miguel Dominic
Those in the line of duty risk everything they have to protect this country, sometimes offering their own lives to ensure our continued safety and freedom. Relatives and friends mourn, time passes and wounds heal, and there’s the ever-looming fear of being forgotten. This is why memorials honoring fallen soldiers are so important; they ensure that the brave men and women of this nation are never truly left behind.
The tragic deaths of our soldiers shake a nation and, more significantly, the fallen soldiers’ families. Those who have lost relatives in the military have been dubbed Gold Star Families, a term first used in World War I, when a gold star was placed over a service flag’s blue star, signifying that the soldier was killed in combat. The symbol of a gold star has grown more renown since then, with many family members opting to wear a gold-starred lapel pin to show support and serve as a visual reminder of their loved one’s sacrifice. Various Gold Star organizations have come to fruition, offering aid to struggling families and paying homage to those who’ve passed.
The recently dedicated Pocatello Idaho Gold Star monument is surrounded by 44 gold stars, one for each of Idaho’s counties. Spaced around the edge of the plaza are five eagle feathers, representing each of the state’s federally recognized Native American tribes. The massive gold star in the center of the plaza will recognize the loss experienced by loved ones when a service member makes the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. Finally, the monument itself recognizes and honors the service member who laid down their life.
Pocatello’s Idaho Gold Star Family Memorial is a fitting monument to our fallen soldiers and their families. I’m proud to have played a part in the dedication as a member of the AMVETS Honor Guard. I encourage everyone to visit.