Mothers of fallen soldiers were honored for Gold Star Mother's Day. The ceremony took place in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
The emotions are raw for Gold Star Mothers like Fe Ang who remember their fallen children. Ang's son died on May 8th 2009 in Iraq.
Ang said, "For me losing a son is losing a half body of mine and we truly miss him,"
Mary Jo Brostrom shares the same grief and gold star on her chest as the other mothers. The star marks her membership into a group that she never wanted to be a part of. Her son, Jonathan, was 24 in 2008 when he lost his life, he only had two weeks left in Afghanistan.
"When your son takes off I just knew he was coming back there was never a question that he would be coming back, so to me it's still very numb." said Brostrom.
Mothers and family members walked up the steps of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific to Lady Columbia, who watches over the fallen. They carried an open tea leaf lei wrapped in golden cranes of hope and peace, along with the boots of their sons and daughters.
Lis Olsen with Survivor Outreach Services, and a gold star mother herself said, "Children wrote on some of the boots, and they are just a tangible piece of what they were, and who they are."
Brostrom says, "Jonathan has a son, Jase, he was the love of his life, and he actually was here in July and he actually put the message on Jonathans boots."
The message Jase left said, "Dad I really miss you and love you, you were the best, I love and miss you."
The empty boots represent honor and remembrance, but for the mothers it represents their children who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The United States began observing Gold Star Mothers Day in 1936.