INDIANAPOLIS - A new Indiana license plate commemorating Indiana's fallen heroes was unveiled today by Andy Miller, Commissioner of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). The Gold Star license plate will be available to spouses, parents, siblings or children of anyone who died while serving on active duty in the military - active, Reserve or National Guard.
The public unveiling followed an announcement of the new plate by Governor Mitch Daniels at the official 500 Festival Memorial Service on Monument Circle attended by many of Indiana's Gold Star families. Daniels previewed the plate for the families at a private reception earlier in the day.
Attending the State House ceremony were Gold Star family members. They were joined by State Representative Cleo Duncan and State Senators Ron Alting, and Jim Merritt.
"Words and actions cannot repay what our fallen soldiers have given us: freedom," remarked Miller. "However, it is with our words and actions that we can honor those who have defended our freedom. The Gold Star license plate is just one way to preserve the memories and sacrifices of Indiana's bravest citizens.
"I am proud to unveil this license plate for grateful Hoosiers as we enter Memorial Day weekend."
The concept is built upon the Gold Star Mothers' Coalition that dates back to World War I. The wearing of a Gold Star was initiated by Grace Darling Siebold after her son Lt. G. V. Siebold died in aerial combat while in the command of the British Royal Air Force. Her concept grew to become a national recognition of those, particularly mothers, grieving the loss of their sons and daughters.
The Gold Star is now offered on license plates around the country to the mothers of fallen soldiers. There are many other states that have embraced the concept.
Starting January 2010, family members can secure a Gold Star license plate. The plates carry no special or group fee; however, the standard plate fees and excise taxes will still be assessed. Families will be required to submit proof that they qualify.
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