Here in the United States the term “gold star mother/father” seems to have grown into much more common use recently. It refers to a parent who has lost a child in military action in service of the United States. How and whe did the term come to have that SPECIFIC connotation rather than just carrying the idea of admirable, or highly praised.
Sidebar: Honestly, it seems a very odd term to me. No doubt parents who have suffered such a terrible loss deserve our sympathy and support. But a gold star is given to someone for a great achievement, not a dreadfully unfortunate loss. Soldiers injured are given a purple heart medal, which seems much more appropriate, conveying as it does the idea of love, affection and support rather than achievement.
gold star parent wikipedia
(US military) the parent of a U.S. soldier who was killed in action
American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. (AGSM), is a private2 nonprofit
organization3 of American mothers who lost sons or daughters in
service of the United States Armed Forces. It was originally formed in
1928 for mothers of those lost in World War I, and it holds a
congressional charter under Title 36 § 211 of the United States Code.
Gold Star Families for Peace (GSFP) is a United States-based
organization founded in January 2005 by individuals who lost family
members in the Iraq War, and are thus entitled to display a Gold Star.
It is considered an offshoot of Military Families Speak Out. Gold Star
Families for Peace now includes more than 65 families of troops killed
The gold star is not given. Blue becomes gold upon a soldiers last breath … and the families capture this star for extra recognition and support.