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Gold star mothers honored at candlelight vigil

October 1, 2018

Sunday was Mother’s Day for nine Lake Havasu City moms. The Lake Havasu Military Moms hosted the annual Gold Star Mothers candlelight ceremony honoring mothers of service members who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

The ceremony, hosted by veteran Bud Watts at Wheeler Park, honored Gold Star Moms Lori Deysie, Mona Hester, Joni Johnson, Janet Mahan, Nancy Sausto, Debby Tinnel, Karen Tillery, Carol Merritt, and Sandy Hook. Watts shared their stories while family members or close friends lit candles in honor of the children.

“Lighting a luminary, on Gold Star Mother’s Day, lets them know they don’t stand alone in their grief. We feel their anguish and share it with them,” he said.

Other speakers included Mayor Mark Nexsen and Joan McDermott, a retired combat nurse.

“No one could ever want the title of Gold Star Mother but it is one that you can all wear proudly,” McDermott said. “Your grateful country will always honor you for your sacrifice of your beloved hero. You wear those gold stars on your heart. God bless you and God bless America.”

The event ended with the Marine Corps League’s gun salute followed by Watt’s final message: “Please keep our fallen heroes and their mothers in your thoughts and prayers always, as well as our military men and women who are currently serving today to protect our freedom.”

For eight years, the LHMM have organized the Gold Star Mothers event to show support to moms who have lost their child in combat. Event organizer and LHMM President Cindy Ritter said the group, founded in 2007, also helps military families with financial assistance for costs including rent, electricity, gas, food, or other necessities, as well as housing and jobs

The women in the LHMM say they realize the extent of what soldiers – and their families -- must sacrifice to protect their country.

“It makes my heart warm to be able to do my small part in helping them any way I can,” Ritter said.

To learn more about the LHMM, how to get involved, or where to donate, visit www.lhcmilitarymoms.org

By Sarah Dixon

Special to Today’s News-Herald

Sunday was Mother’s Day for nine Lake Havasu City moms. The Lake Havasu Military Moms hosted the annual Gold Star Mothers candlelight ceremony honoring mothers of service members who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

The ceremony, hosted by veteran Bud Watts at Wheeler Park, honored Gold Star Moms Lori Deysie, Mona Hester, Joni Johnson, Janet Mahan, Nancy Sausto, Debby Tinnel, Karen Tillery, Carol Merritt, and Sandy Hook. Watts shared their stories while family members or close friends lit candles in honor of the children.

“Lighting a luminary, on Gold Star Mother’s Day, lets them know they don’t stand alone in their grief. We feel their anguish and share it with them,” he said.

Other speakers included Mayor Mark Nexsen and Joan McDermott, a retired combat nurse.

“No one could ever want the title of Gold Star Mother but it is one that you can all wear proudly,” McDermott said. “Your grateful country will always honor you for your sacrifice of your beloved hero. You wear those gold stars on your heart. God bless you and God bless America.”

The event ended with the Marine Corps League’s gun salute followed by Watt’s final message: “Please keep our fallen heroes and their mothers in your thoughts and prayers always, as well as our military men and women who are currently serving today to protect our freedom.”

For eight years, the LHMM have organized the Gold Star Mothers event to show support to moms who have lost their child in combat. Event organizer and LHMM President Cindy Ritter said the group, founded in 2007, also helps military families with financial assistance for costs including rent, electricity, gas, food, or other necessities, as well as housing and jobs

The women in the LHMM say they realize the extent of what soldiers – and their families -- must sacrifice to protect their country.

“It makes my heart warm to be able to do my small part in helping them any way I can,” Ritter said.

To learn more about the LHMM, how to get involved, or where to donate, visit www.lhcmilitarymoms.org

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