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The personal journal of technology journalist and conference speaker Randall S. Newton.

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Saturday, May 28, 2005

Gold Star Outrage

Various news sources are reporting this morning about the Gold Star Mothers, an organization of mothers who share in having lost a son or daughter in servive to America in the Armed Forces. It seems that Ligaya Lagman, of Westchester, NY, isn't good enough to join Gold Star Mothers. Her son, Army Staff Sgt. Anthony Lagman, was killed last year in Afghanistan in a firefight with Taliban insurgents, but her request for membership was denied because she is a permanent resident of the US, but not an American citizen.

This is simply outrageous. When the organization was formed, perhaps no one gave thought to the need to be more inclusive. But in this day and age, when the American melting pot is a rich as ever, it is nothing less than heartless and cruel to deny Ligaya Lagman, or any other mother of a fallen soldier, the dignity and honor of associating with those who best know her grief.

My heart goes out to each and every parent in this country who has lost a child to war; no less because of their country of origin. Gold Star Mothers should feel the same way.

According to the daily newspaper in Springfield, MA, The Republican, there are 30,000 members of the US military today who are the sons and daughters of immigrant parents, whom themselves are not yet American citizens. To limit the honor available to them or to their families is unthinkable.


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