Families of Fallen Soldiers, Governor Pawlenty & First Lady Mary Pawlenty unveil Gold Star Licence Plate

~ New license plate available to parents and spouses of those killed in active military service ~

Saint Paul (Sept 22, 2009) – Family members of fallen soldiers joined with Governor Tim Pawlenty and First Lady Mary Pawlenty today to unveil a new license plate commemorating Minnesota’s fallen military heroes.

The Minnesota Gold Star License Plate will be available beginning October 1 to surviving parents and spouses of anyone who died while serving honorably in active military service.

Gold Star License Plate“For all of our heroes, there must be gratitude, thanks and appreciation that are reflected not just in our words, but in our actions,” Governor Pawlenty said. “We often hear the saying, ‘Freedom isn’t free.’  That’s true, but we also need to add the phrase ‘But not everybody pays the same price.’  Families who’ve lost a loved one deserve our love and support in every way possible.”

Governor Pawlenty signed legislation authorizing the Gold Star Plate on May 16, 2009. The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, Minnesota Department of Military Affairs, Minnesota Department of Public Safety and representatives from Gold Star families worked together to design the plate.

The Gold Star concept began during World War I when British mother Grace Darling Siebold began wearing a gold star following the death of her son in aerial combat. The Gold Star Mother’s Coalition was born of her simple act, and the single gold star became a recognizable symbol for those grieving a child lost in military service. Gold Star license plates are available in more than 40 states.

Applications for Gold Star Plates can be made by U.S. mail or at any Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services deputy registrar office. For an application form or an office location, visit www.mndriveinfo.org. Vehicles are subject to standard registration fees, but there will be no additional charge for the Gold Star Plates or for replacement, should they become damaged. Applicants will be required to provide documentation of eligibility.