In recognition of the first Gold Star Family Day in Illinois, on September 26 lawmakers joined the Governor, Gold Star families, representatives from the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the public to pay tribute to and thank the families of fallen soldiers during a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda.
As chief Senate sponsor of House Bill 4389 designating the official day for Gold Star families, State Senator Karen McConnaughay (R-St.Charles) said this recognition is an important way to acknowledge the sacrifices of the families of fallen men and women in the armed forces.
“Today is a really special day as we honor the courage and the sacrifices of not only our fallen servicemen and servicewomen, but their supportive families who have suffered the loss of a parent, spouse, sibling or child,” said McConnaughay during the dedication ceremony. “I was proud to be the Senate sponsor of House Bill 4389 which acknowledges that when a soldier doesn’t come home, that leaves a major void in the lives left behind.”
In August, Governor Rauner signed House Bill 4389 to designate the day after Gold Star Mothers’ Day as Gold Star Family Day.
“Today we honor the supportive and loving families that our American heroes left behind when they made the ultimate sacrifice,” Governor Rauner said. “I want to say thank you on behalf of the people of Illinois. You have a hole in your hearts that can never be filled, but every day you show exceptional strength and commitment to this country. This day is for you.”
Governor Rauner was also joined by State Representative Steven Andersson, Assistant Director of IDVA Harry Sawyer, Jim Frazier, who is Gold Star father and Survivor Outreach Services Coordinator for the U.S. Army in Northern Illinois, members of Gold Star families, representatives from the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) and Survivor Outreach, and State Senator Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles).
Governor Rauner signed the bill into law on Veterans Day at the Illinois State Fair just over a month ago.