Gold Star Mothers Honored on Mother’s Day

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN, Pa. -- Candles were lit and roses were hung to honor Schuylkill County natives who lost their lives in the Vietnam War close to 50 years ago.

The focus of Sunday's ceremony was to honor Gold Star Mothers and their families while this traveling replica of the Vietnam War Memorial was in town.

Sally McMonegal lost her son, John J. McMonegal Jr., in the Vietnam War and she said ceremonies like this one at Island Park in Schuylkill Haven are important.

"At least they're remembering them they're not forgetting like when they first came in," said McMonegal.

For her, this Mother's Day is bittersweet.

"I can't put it into words because it's sorrowful but yet it's joyful to know that some people still care," added McMonegal.

"It's about those ladies that gave their sons so that we could be here today doing what we're doing," said Vietnam War Veteran Guy Wiederhold.

Arlene Umbenhauer is another Gold Star Mother who was there to remember her son Dale.

"My son's names on the wall I wanted to come. Still hurts after all these years," said Umbenhauer.

Umbenhauer's daughter says she was only six years old when they lost her brother and she's thankful to see such a supportive turnout.

"Makes me happy to see the young kids especially coming to see this, I wanted my boys to come over and one of them did so it makes me happy," said daughter Betty Smith.

Mother's Day is the final day for the wall here in Island Park in Schuylkill Haven.

On Monday, it will be taken down and travel to Kalkaska, Michigan.

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