University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

Town of Cassel centennial
(1891-1991)

Veterans buried in Sacred Heart of Jesus Cemetary [Cemetery] - Cassel,   pp. 50-53


Page 52

widow was 27.
Mary Lida Wilichowski, one of these
Gold Star Mothers left on May 9, 1931 on
the five week trip that took her by train
and ship to France to her son, Joseph's
grave.
The mothers were shown sights in
France and had a very pleasant trip. Also
all the mothers were presented a gold
medallion as a memento of their trip.
While doing research on the Gold Star
Mothers, I found an article in "The
Nation" magazine, July 23, 1930 referring
to the treatment of black Gold Star Moth-
ers. "Their black sons die as white men
die..." yet black mothers had to travel in
segregated groups and were not allowed
to visit their sons's graves as white moth-
ers were. Consequently, many of the
black mothers chose not to go. The article
continued, "Ten years after the
Armistice...we who gave and who are
colored, are insulted by the implication
that we are not fit persons to travel with
other bereaved ones." Now 60 years later,
I wonder if we have yet learned. If we
haven't, how many more Gold Star
Mothers must there be?
Mary Wilichowski in France
MARY LIDA WILICHOWSKI GOLD
STAR MOTHER - by: Dianne Wili-
chowski. Never before in this nation's
history had so many of our young men
been killed on foreign soil.
On March 2, 1929, Congress autho-
rized a pilgrimage to the cemetaries of
Europe for mothers and widows to visit
the graves of their sons and husbands.
The pilgrimages were planned in the
hope that these women would find a
comforting peace of mind to ease the
burden that they must carry forever.
"Be it enacted by the Senate and
House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled,
that the Secretary of War is hereby autho-
rized to arrange for pilgrimages to ceme-
teries in Europe by mothers and widows
of members of the military or naval forces
of the United States who died in the mili-
tary or naval service at any time between
April 5, 1917 and July 1, 1921, and whose
remains are now interred in such ceme-
teries."
The pilgrimages were made over a
period of time from May 1, 1930 to Octo-
ber 31, 1933, at the expense of the United
States Government.
Of the 17,389 eligible to make the
pilgrimage, 8,658 did so in 1930, 1,766 in
1931 and 118 in 1932. The average age of
mothers was slightly more than 60, many
were much older The oldest mother to
make the trip was 92, the youngest


Go up to Top of Page