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Gold Star Mothers Memorial

Where it all Began
During World War I families with men in the service displayed banners with blue stars in the center. The number of blue stars indicated the number of family members in the service. As soldiers were killed their families superimposed a gold star over the blue star. The gold star symbolized the honor and glory accorded the serviceman for his supreme sacrifice in giving the last full measure of devotion to his country. It replaced a lonely personal loss with a proud public symbol for the family. Many families paid a high price for freedom, thus they hung more than one gold star in their star mother

In the months before the end of World War I President Woodrow Wilson was given a suggestion by the Women’s Committee of the Council of National Defense that, instead of wearing conventional mourning of black, American women should wear a black band on their left arm embossed with a gold star for each family member who had made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of the nation. The term Gold Star Mothers was applied to any mother whose son(s) died in the World War.

On June 4, 1928 Grace Darling Seibold of Washington D.C. founded The American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. as a way to remember her own son and all of the men who died in the war, and to perpetuate the ideals for which they had fought and died. The organization remains a nondenominal, non-profit and nonpolitical organization.

American Gold Star Mothers, Inc is an organization of mothers whose sons or daughters have made the supreme sacrifice while in any branch of the
Military or Naval Service of the United States of America, or died as a result of such service.

Meet the Sculptor
Andrew Chernak has created sculptures for an impressive list of clientel. Bronze works in life size or larger than life size, bas relief, miniature works for museum displays and medalic art for medals given to our nation’s patriots and leaders.

All of Andrew’s sculptures are created for clients who demand historic accuracy, emotion and original design. Andrew excels at capturing the smallest of details and enjoys the challenge despite the time consuming nature of the effort.

Andrew is passionate about his work and goes above and beyond the requirements of the work to be done, to the benefit of all.

When Andrew L. Chernak was preparing to sculpt a statue honoring the American Gold Star Mothers, he needed a face showing the extreme grief and pain of a mother who lost a child during wartime.

Chernak, who specializes in pewter sculpture, decided his wife, Terria, fit the bill perfectly. That’s because she suffered the pain of the death of a sculptorbeloved child -- the anguish, despair, devastation and more -- when her beloved 13-year-old daughter was killed in a house fire about six years ago. Terria agreed to model for him, and found a pattern for a World War I-style dress, which she made in less than two days, Chernak noted.

The 5’7” bronze image of an unsteady woman holding a crumpled telegram statue represents a mother who just received news of her son’s death during World War I. The mother will stand along side a nightstand featuring a tipped-over flower pot and a framed photo of her lost son.

“The hardest part of this project was to have a face showing extreme grief and pain,” Chernak said. “As my wife lost her daughter when her daughter was 13, she was able to give me that look of true grief.”

“When I understood what Gold Star Mothers were all about, I was overcome with her peace and her quietness,” Terria said. “Yet, when a mother loses a child, whether they’re an infant, a teenager, or young man, there’s a loss you see in the mother’s eyes.”

You can find this magnificent statue on the Village Hall grounds in Rothschild at 211 Grand Avenue. Learn more here.