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About Grace Darling Seibold (Whitaker)
Grace Darling Seibold was the founder of American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. "...an organization of mothers who have lost a son or daughter in the service of our country."
Her father was Brig General Edward Whitaker (USA) who was awarded the Medal of Honor for action during the Civil War.
Her son, First Lt. George Seibold, was killed in aerial combat over France in August 1918.
George Vaughan Seibold, at 23 years old, volunteered to serve his country during Word War I and wished to have a career in aviation. During this time, with the U.S. not having an Air Force or planes, Seibold was sent to Canada to take flight instruction and then was assigned to the British Royal Flying Corps, 148th Aero Squadron while all the while corresponding with his loving mother in America, the wonderful Grace Darling Seibold.
Unfortunately on Christmas Eve, 1918, a package was delivered to the Seibold’s home and marked, “Effects of Deceased Officer, First Lieutenant George Vaughn Seibold.” It was later found that Seibold was killed in action over Baupaume, France, August 26, 1918. His body would never be returned.
Grace Seibold, in her grief and sorrow, however, kept on devoting much of her time working in hospitals and extending her love, friendship and understanding to other mothers whose sons had died in the service. She then organized a group made up solely of these dedicated women who aided each other in their own grieving as well as giving loving care to hospitalized veterans.
The Gold Star, which proudly hung in the windows signifying a deceased serviceman’s home, was the symbol for the name of this new organization, which has survived and flourished now close to a century.
On June 24, 1928, 25 mothers met in Washington D.C. and began the organization of American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. Our own community, throughout our history, has been blessed with volumes of these wonderful women marching in our streets in memory and pride of our sons and daughters who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our town and our nation for us to be free to have the liberties we enjoy today.
Following that historical meeting in 1928, within 90 days, the organization grew quickly to 65, and then spread quickly all over the country. These proud citizens are recognized with their bright blue uniforms laced with the gold, symbolizing the Gold Star that represents their loved ones and the town of Stoneham’s brave and courageous servicemen and women.
The color blue most likely was derived from the Blue Star, which was on the service flags displayed outside of homes, businesses and churches — dedicated to living citizens serving in the armed services. The Gold Star was superimposed over the Blue Star when one of these gave the ultimate sacrifice to their countries.