September 30, the last Sunday in September, is Gold Star Mother’s Day nationally, and in New Jersey, Parents of Fallen Military Sons and Daughters Day. Every year on Gold Star Mother’s Day, we are called upon to express love, sorrow, and reverence towards the families who have lost a child who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
Coinciding with the special day, Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon is launching the Gold Star Parent Identification Card program.
Authorized by state legislation earlier this year, County Clerks issue these Identification Cards to recognize Gold Star parents within their respective Counties and to provide Gold Star parents with free access to New Jersey state parks, forests and beaches, and the New Jersey State Museum. In Monmouth County, Hanlon has expanded the program to include valuable discounts from local retailers who participate in the Clerk’s “Honoring our Heroes” Military Appreciation Program.
“There are not enough ways to say thank you to the service members who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms and way of life,” said Hanlon. “My office is proud to provide these cards as a small way to honor their sacrifices and to remind their parents and guardians that the legacies of their sons and daughters will always be remembered.”
The card is free of charge and identifies the Gold Star Parent with the branch of the armed forces in which their son or daughter served, along with other personal information.
To apply for the card, Monmouth County residents must provide either of the following documentation at the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office in Freehold or the Monmouth County Connection in Neptune:
- Certification from an organization formed for the support of parents of members of the United States Armed Forces who lost their lives while on active duty (ex. American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.), confirming that the applicant is a parent, legal guardian or legal custodian
- The service member’s federal DD-1300 Form, Report of Casualty, which identifies the member of the Armed Forces who died while on active duty for the United States, plus documentation showing the applicant’s relationship to the service member.
The Monmouth County Clerk’s Office is located at 33 Mechanic Street, in the Market Yard Parking Lot in Freehold Borough. The hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Monmouth County Connection is located at 3544 Route 66 in Neptune, near Home Depot. The hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For additional information about the Gold Star Parent Card or “Honoring our Heroes” Military Appreciation Program, please visit MonmouthCountyClerk.com or call the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office at 732-431-7324 or the Monmouth County Connection at 732-303-2828.