During World War I, Army Captain Robert L. Queisser sought a way to honor his sons’ military service. He came up with the idea of a blue-star banner. Other families soon adopted his blue-star banner to indicate active duty service in the war. Sadly, many also displayed gold stars on those banners, symbolizing the death of that service member. The Department of Defense eventually authorized the display of the banners during times of war.
The white field on the banner, edged with red, can hold up to five blue stars. The blue of those stars symbolizes hope and pride for the service of a family member. The banners are displayed facing out in a front window of the home. Silver stars, which indicate a family member wounded in action, symbolize gallantry, while gold stars, added for family members killed during active duty, stand for sacrifice made for honor and freedom. The gold or silver stars are made slightly smaller than the original, so that a thin border of blue shows around the addition.
Since it's creation in 1940, the Jewish War Veterans Department of Michigan has maintained a Gold Star book for all Jewish Michigan residents who have died in combat. The book has been digitized and plans were under way to add it's pages to this website in mid-2020. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, those page additions have been delayed.
'Lest We Forget' remembers Veterans that had a JWV-Michigan Post named for them. Some of them were not from Michigan (Major General Maurice Rose), and some were not even Jewish (The Four Chaplains). Some of those remembered were not wartime casualties, but their contribution to JWV was so great that friends named their JWV Post after them when they passed. Not only does 'Lest We Forget' honor the memory of those Veterans, but also the memory of those Posts - many of which have been combined into other Posts as their membership declined.
The 'Gold Star Book' remembers all of the Michigan-based Jewish Veterans that have died in combat since 1940. There is a small overlap between the two.
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E - J
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