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By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 28, 2008 - Last year, 44 states and the District of Columbia proclaimed celebrated May 1 as Silver Star Day.
This year, Silver Star Families of America, which began the grassroots movement, is hoping all 50 states will remember and honor their wounded and ill veterans May 1 to kick off Military Appreciation Month.
"While we want every state to join with us, this year we are going to the cities and asking them to help," Janie Orman, the organization's president, said. "We wanted 50 cities across the United States to hold ceremonies and remember our honored wounded."
Cities across the nation are responding "beyond our expectations," Orman said.
"To date we have received proclamations from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 89 cities, with more coming in every day," she said. "It has been a long time since I have seen such an outpouring of love and respect."
Silver Star Families of America is a banner organization, similar to Blue Star Mothers of America and American Gold Star Mothers. Since its founding three years ago, the organization has given out thousands of Silver Star Service banners and certificates to wounded U.S. veterans from all wars wherever they live.
The tradition of the Silver Star banner for the wounded and ill goes back to 1917 and lasted for years until it faded into history. Silver Star Families of America brought back this tradition so that every time someone sees a Silver Star banner in a window or a Silver Star flag flying, they remember the sacrifice of wounded servicemembers.
The Silver Star Service banner and flag fly at military hospitals, Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities and combat support hospitals.
"We hope everyone will take a minute to reflect on the sacrifices of our wounded and ill soldiers on May 1," Orman said. "I also invite everyone to hold their own ceremonies or banner presentations."
Silver Star Families of America is a supporter of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and companies with servicemembers and their families serving at home or abroad.