Luminary Initiative Events

Almost 5,000 people participated in the Luminary Initiative this year

The Luminary Initiative, started by, 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 30, 2018, 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 we even had a large presence in New York’s 7th district due to Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez’s office passing out our luminary bags. The National Museum of the Marine Corps participated Sunday as well, lighting 100 luminary bags in front of the museum.

We had 535 people sign our pledge listing their events with an estimated 4,814 people participating in luminary events nationwide. In addition, hundreds of individuals helped us light up Facebook with support by changing their social media profile pictures to our Luminary Initiative image on Sunday. 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 2019. We received hundreds of photos, as well as some local news stories. We want to thank all of those that took the pledge and participated in the Luminary Initiative this year.

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