The Gavel Is Passed for American Gold Star Mothers

“The American Gold Star Mothers organization is in good hands with Mona Gunn,” stated past President Becky Christmas who handed over leadership of the organization at the 82nd Annual American Gold Star Mothers Convention held recently in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Becky’s reign included serving as the Grand Marshal for the Annual Wreath Escort to Arlington National Cemetery. She says the year flew by. “It’s been an incredible year filled with incredible people. There have been so many touching moments that I will always hold in my heart.”

Becky says her hope for the organization as it moves forward is for every Gold Star Mother to know and understand what it means to be part of this organization. “Our bond helps us with our tragedy and sorrow, and it keeps us all thinking in such a positive way. I lost my son, Todd, an Army Captain, in a helicopter crash in 2004. My goal is to continue Todd’s legacy in service to our country and ensure that no fallen soldier, or their family, is ever forgotten.”

Long-time educator and elementary school Principal, Mona Gunn became a Gold Star Mother when her son Cherone Louis Gunn was one of the U.S. Navy sailors killed during the terrorist attack on the U.S.S. Cole. Mona’s late husband also served in the United States Navy. Mona has traveled to Arlington National Cemetery a few times as part of the Annual Wreath Escort. Mona says she’s proud and honored to be the organization’s first African-American woman to lead the organization. “Becky and I have already had a great year working together, and I want to continue with some of the initiatives we’ve started together,” she explains. “Growth in membership is critical, and we want to develop national partnerships with organizations like Operation Gratitude and Quilts of Valor. We already have a wonderful partnership with Wreaths Across America.”

Both Mona and Becky feel that the past year has been a very positive one for the group and look forward to the year ahead. “I would just like to express my thanks and gratitude to the national Board who has worked with me this past year,” Becky shared in a parting expression. “They have just been incredible.”