MIDDLEBOURNE, W.Va. (WTRF) — Growth, reformation, and flourish. That’s what the newly planted apple trees in Middlebourne City Park represent to the Gold Star Mothers – remembering their children who sacrificed their lives for the United States. 

It’s the Fourth of July weekend where we are celebrating our independence as a country, but it is not without the sacrifices of the brave men and women who fought for our country. 

Today, the Gold Star Mothers and members of the community in Tyler County came together to give names to the trees planted in the park to honor their children who fought and lost their lives for our independence. 

Founded in 1928 – The Gold Star Mothers are comprised of mothers who have lost a loved one in active-duty service. 

Cathy Post – American Legion Auxiliary Department President, says that this dedication ceremony means more to families because of the love and care that is put into it. 

“We’ve taken care of them and babied them because that’s what the Gold Star Mothers call them, is their babies – because they are a living memorial. They don’t want stone memorials. They want a living memorial. Their children are gone, and they want something live to remember them by.” 

Cathy Post – American Legion Auxiliary Department President

Gold Star Mother President, Terry Cunningham, can attest to this in her own experiences. 

“I think you see life go on in a living memorial, and we see it, it’s going to produce fruit eventually and how they use the fruit – that will be interesting to see, but it’s going to be something that gives back to the community and gives back to others.” 

Terry Cunningham – President of WV Gold Star Mothers

This memorial would not be possible without the recently passed, Woody Wilson – and James McCormick, and colleague of Woody’s says that when they were at a loss for words when speaking to mourning families, they responded with this…

“’Talk about our kids. Ask us who they were, because they were living, breathing, wonderful humans that served our country and we are proud to talk about them.’ So, this gives them a chance to do that.”

James McCormick – National Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart

A gazebo will also be built in the park within the next year for families to come and reflect on the lives of their lost loved ones.