By PAUL SIMS
Slicing winds kept late-morning air at near-freezing levels Monday but didn’t turn away a crowd gathered to stand with Gold Star mothers as they laid a wreath locally to honor the fallen.
Those affiliated with a formal chapter of the American Gold Star Mothers – whose sons or daughters gave their lives in service to the nation – chose to participate in the Wreaths Across America effort by placing a wreath at the armed services display at Gulf States Manufacturers in Starkville.
“They do so much for our military organizations,” said Donna Bagwell of
Pontotoc, referring to Gulf States. Bagwell laid the wreath with Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman and Aubrey Ray, a representative of Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve. Bagwell’s son, Marine Lance Cpl. Marc Lucas Tucker, died June 8, 2005 in Iraq.
Danny Coggins, Gulf States’ president, said “I was just absolutely thrilled they called and said that they wanted to come to our town.”
Coggins added: “This is an honor, especially when you understand what being a Gold Star mother means.”
Gulf States has a conference room dedicated to Gold Star mothers and set aside for their use as needed.
“They are pretty busy ladies, and one thing I really enjoy is the relationship we’ve built over the last year and a half,” Coggins said.
“We’ve become fairly close to this chapter,” he said of the Forever Faithful chapter of AGSM.