They're called "Gold Star Parents" and, once a year, they come together to remember the military heroes who are their children and to share an intimate truth: life is lost, but love does not end.
In the wars since 9/11, thousands of Americans have lost sons or daughters. Bereaved parents often become isolated in a familiar world. Friends don't know what to say about a grief no words can touch. There is no term in the dictionary for a parent who has lost a child. So, these mothers and fathers call themselves Gold Star parents. It's in the tradition of the military service flag that hung in homes during the World Wars.
Each blue star on the banner stood for a loved one overseas. Gold honored those never coming home. Now some of these families are finding solace, once a year in San Francisco, in the embrace of the only people who can truly understand, other Gold Star parents traveling the same endless road.
Mike Myatt: People asked me, "What do you say to the Gold Star Parents?" I say, "Well, you don't have to say anything to 'em, just ask 'em, 'Tell me about your son or your daughter'." Man, they'll just talk. They'll just tell you all they can about the son or daughter. And it's really something. I wished I'd have known this as a young officer 'cause I went to Vietnam and I had people killed out of my platoon. And I was going to go visit each family and the very last one was in Kansas. I was visiting them and I went to the house, and the father said, "Come on in." And the mother, she had on her apron. She said, "I just fixed dinner, would you have dinner with us?" I said, "No, I'm in a hurry, but I want to tell you about your son." And I told 'em how he was killed and everything. They really appreciated. Then, "Won't you stay for dinner?" "Oh, I better not." I realize now they wanted to tell me about their son. And I wasn't mature enough to know it.
Scott Pelley: That's why they wanted you to stay.
Mike Myatt: Yeah, yeah, and now I know it.... read more>>>