Children of Fallen Patriots Day will be observed on May 13, 2021. In the past 25 years, more than 15,000 children have lost parents in military conflict. Children of Fallen Patriots Day was created to both honor these children and raise awareness of the sacrifices and struggles they must endure in the wake of their parent’s death. May 13 was selected as the date of observance due to being the day Arlington National Cemetery was established in 1864.
Although Children of Fallen Patriots Day is not a nationally recognized day of remembrance, since 2014, governors from across the nation have issued proclamations to officially designate May 13th as a day to honor these children. Currently, 27 states and the District of Columbia now recognize and observe Children of Fallen Patriots Day in some form.
The Fallen Patriots Foundation was established to honor the memory of Sergeant William Delaney Gibbs. Sergeant Gibbs served in the 7th Infantry Division during Operation Just Cause in Panama. On December 20, 1989, Sergeant Gibbs was killed in action, widowing his young wife who was pregnant with their daughter at the time. Inspired both by Sergeant Gibb’s sacrifice and the plight of the family he left behind, the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation was established in 2002.
For more than 19 years, the foundation has provided college scholarships and educational counseling to children who have lost parents in military conflict, called Gold Star scholars. Scholarships are awarded to Gold Star scholars in all 50 states and in all branches of the military.