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September 25
(last weekend of the month)

Gold Star Mother's Day


Gold Star Mother's Day

Since 1936, the last Sunday in September has been a special day … Gold Star Mother’s Day. Established by a joint resolution of Congress and enacted in 36 United States Code § 111, Gold Star Mother’s Day falls on Sunday, September 29 this year, and while not a public holiday, it is a designated national observance to honor and recognize those who have lost a son or daughter while that child was serving in the United States Armed Forces. Learn more about the Gold Star program at

The last Sunday in September is recognized as Gold Star Mothers and Family Day, a time to recognize and honor the surviving family members of fallen service members.

Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day in the United States is observed on the last Sunday in September. The United States Congress recognizes this as the day when America honors surviving parents and families of fallen service members – specifically those who died during active duty. The term “Gold Star” originated during World War I when Americans displayed flags in their homes, businesses, schools, and churches with a blue star for each of their family members serving in the military. If any of those family members died during their military service, the family would stitch a gold star over the blue star in honor of their fallen loved ones. In 1918 President Woodrow Wilson approved the wearing of black arm bands bearing a gilt star by those who had a family member who died in the military service to the United States.

American Gold Star Mothers. Inc. was incorporated in 1929, obtaining a federal charter from Congress, and began with 25 mothers living in the Washington DC area and soon expanded to include affiliated groups throughout the nation. On June 23, 1936, a joint congressional resolution designated the last Sunday in September as Gold Star Mother’s Day, a holiday observed each year by a presidential proclamation. Each year on Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day the President of the United States calls on all Americans to display the nation’s flag and hold appropriate meetings to publicly express their love, sorrow, and reverence towards Gold Star Mothers and their families.




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Gold Star Families Mother Monuments (USA)

Gold Star Families Memorial Monuments (USA)





Saints on the Bayou by George Rodrigue

Southern Art

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What kind of food to give for a funeral...

In the South
Things are done a little bit differently in the South, and funerals are no exception. The food, usually is served buffet-style at a reception during visitation and/or after the service, is typically the purview of the bereaved's friends and extended family. Perre Coleman Magness, author of The Southern Sympathy Cookbook: Funeral Food with a Twist, says anything "made with love and with good intention" is acceptable. Catering, she says, is a no-go, though she makes an exception for those who've had to travel for a funeral (casseroles do not fly well). Similarly offensive would be bringing a rum cake to a congregation of teetotalers (ones who do not drink).

Beyond that, Magness isn't much of a stickler for etiquette. Paper plates and napkins are perfectly fine. "You never want anyone going through such a time of stress and sorrow to have to think about washing dishes and cleaning up," she says. Southern funerals aren't just a time of somber reflection and remembrance of the deceased—they're also a social occasion and a celebration of life. Here's why no other region does funerals and memorials quite like the South.



Things to think about...

  1. The Comfort Food: When someone's going through a tough time, southerns want to give something that will make everyone feel better. Food is a great way to do that. When most are feeling down, they would much rather have someone bring them mac and cheese than a kale salad.

  2. Plenty of Fried Chicken:  Fried chicken is the universal answer to the question of what people considered quintessential funeral food. Fried chicken is something you can serve at the reception that the bereaved can take home and have the next day too. Both kids and adults like it and you can, and should, eat it with your fingers...comfort food at its best!

  3. There's No Holding Back: Southerners have a tendency towards displays of great emotion, whether joy or sorrow.

  4. Spiritual Intervention: Funerals in the South often include a sermon reminding mourners that life is short and to mind brokeness if needed. 

  5. Second Lines: If you are lucky enough to have one it is most popular in New Orleans, second lines actually began with the city's traditional "jazz funerals." It's a miniature parade of sorts, with family and close friends marching to the service with a brass band. "Going to the funeral, the music is somber, and coming back, it's a celebration. 

  6. A Time to Socialize: Southerners love to gather together and talk, period. Funerals are one of those strange situations where you'll see someone you haven't seen in a while and think, It's good to see you, but then you have to pull back and say, 'But not under these circumstances.'"

So what to bring other than fried chicken? Bring a ham, your favorite casserole, grits: cheesy, plain, or loaded; cooked vegetables, potatoes of any kind, sweet potatoes, rice dishes, blacked eyed peas with ham, deviled eggs, creamy baby butter beans, creamy corn casserole, squash casserole, chicken gumbo, jello salad, potato salad, pasta salad, 7 layered salad, bread, biscuits, corn bread, cooked fruit dishes, cakes, cookies, pies, cobblers and iced tea....!!!

Did you notice I did not include seafood? There is a reason for that, unless it will be eaten right away most people do not bring food that could spoil fast while sitting out in warm weather. If you think about it, most funerals are not in cold weather. In some places if the ground is frozen, funerals are placed on hold until the ground is warm enough to dig a hole. Plus food must be able to reheated and still taste ok. Funerals are a time for low stress and one doesn't need to worry about food poisoning at this time.

Classic Butter Beans

Tender and creamy old fashioned butter beans are a classic Southern
comfort dish served as the main attraction or side dish. 



  • 1 pound dried large lima beans

  • 1/2 large onion diced

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • salt TT

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1/2 cup salted butter

  • 1 cup diced ham optional

  • water 


  1. Sort and rinse the beans. Beans do not need to be soaked.

  2. Place the beans into a large saucepan with enough water to cover the beans by an inch or two.

  3. Place the pan of beans over high heat and cook just until boiling.

  4. Remove the beans from the heat and cover with a lid and allow the beans to sit for at least one hour.

  5. Drain the beans and rinse again.

  6. Place the beans back into the pan and cover with water to cover.

  7. Place the beans back on the stove and bring to a boil. When the beans begin to boil reduce the heat to a simmer.

  8. Add the remaining ingredients, except ham if using, and stir well to combine.

  9. Allow the beans to simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the beans are tender, stirring occasionally and adding water as necessary.

  10. If using ham, allow the beans to cook at least an hour before adding the ham.

  11. When beans are tender, remove from heat and serve with cornbread or over rice for a complete meal.

Note: Beans can be soaked, skip the first 5 steps.

Also, one large smoked ham hock maybe used instead of diced ham if slow cooking.

  • Place beans, 9 cups of water, ham hock, salt and pepper in a 6 quart slow cooker and cover. Cook on high for 5 hours (or low for 7 to 8 hours) or until the beans are tender to your liking. Stir well and adjust seasoning to your taste. If needed, add hot water to the beans to keep them covered as to not drop the temperature as they cook. If desired, remove the hock, shred the meat, and return it to the slow cooker.



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/3 cup neutral oil or melted butter

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 cup milk


  1. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan or cast iron skillet well and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Whisk to combine well.

  3. Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients and add your oil or butter, milk, and egg. Stir just until the mixture comes together and there are only a few lumps remaining.

  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is a deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  5. Serve hot.


  • You can make it it in a 9-inch round cake pan, square baking dish, or 9-inch cast iron skillet. Bonus! You can also make these into muffins or double the recipe and toss it in a 9x13-inch baking pan. You'll just need to adjust the baking time if you are making muffins or doubling the batch. Muffins take around 15 minutes to bake and a doubled recipe takes 35-40 minutes to bake.

  • Use yellow cornmeal in this recipe. White works fine, but it just doesn't look the same. Golden yellow cornbread is a must. Also, don't try to sub any of the cornmeals used for making tamales - they are a different grind and the texture doesn't come out the same.

  • To make this recipe gluten free simple sub the all-purpose flour for a gluten free 1:1 baking flour.

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