Monday, February 24, 2014

A Star for Mrs. Blake

By April Smith

During WWI, when a soldier was killed overseas, the surviving families had the choice of bringing them home for burial or to have them buried in the country where they fell.

Between 1930 and 1933, the US Department of War provided an all expense paid trip to the mothers of these soldiers so they could visit their son’s final resting place. They were called the “Gold Star Mothers”.

This story follows a group of five women whose sons lost their lives in a battle in Verdun France. Grief becomes the uniting factor of “Party A” consisting of Cora (the Mrs. Blake named in the title), Katie, Wilhelminia, Minnie, Bobbie, the Army nurse Lily and the only man in the group, the Lieutenant Hammond, who is to guide the group. This story explores each woman, her background and how they relate with each other.

Cora is interviewed by a journalist who writes her story and sells it to a French newspaper. It creates enough interest that the newspapers want a follow-up story. This opens up doors that Cora never dreamed of. More excitement meets the “Gold Star Mothers” when they have a picnic near a battlefield where their sons fought. Each mother comes to terms with her terrible loss and is forever changed by her “pilgrimage”.

~ Dixie

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