The Luminary Initiative has been a major contributor towards honoring Gold Star families since 2007. The mission of the Luminary Initiative is to urge individuals, families, and organizations nationwide to light luminaries at dusk on the last Sunday in September, Gold Star Family Day, to honor our fallen heroes.
On the evening of Sunday, September 24, 2017, military supporters across the country came together to show their respect for Gold Star family members and to keep the memories of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our nation alive.
Events ranged from small to large, from individual family events to neighborhood and community-wide events. Some events had guest speakers, others took place at parks and memorials, and over 4,690 people lit luminaries along their driveways and sidewalks. Also, hundreds of individuals helped us light up Facebook with support by changing their social media profile pictures to our Luminary Initiative image on Sunday.
Over 1,000 people signed the pledge to support Gold Star family members this year. We put out a newsletter each day the week prior to Gold Star Family Day and reached out through social media in an effort to spread awareness for the Luminary Initiative. The response we got was nothing short of remarkable. The pledges came flowing in and by midnight on Gold Star Family Day there were 1,017 pledges taken. Since beginning the Gold Star Luminary Initiative in 2007, we have seen the initiative grow each year, and this year's participation was truly amazing!
We asked those who participated in luminary lighting events this year to send us photos from their events so our readers can see what this year's events looked like and draw inspiration for events in 2018. We received hundreds of photos. We want to thank all of those that took the pledge and participated in the Luminary Initiative this year.