Orange County honors Gold Star mothers and families

The country is observing ‘Gold Star Mother’s Day’ this Sunday.

In Orange County, Mayor Jerry Demings paid tribute to Gold Star mothers and families at the Central Florida Veteran’s Memorial Park in Lake Nona.

The ceremony was streamed on the Orange County Facebook page.

Gold Star families are those of American servicemen and women who have been killed in action.

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Jo Ann Maitland’s son, Richard Hubbell, III, died while serving in the U.S. Army.

"He joined the U.S. Army," she said. "Following in the footsteps of his grandfather and his uncles. He volunteered before 9/11. His job as an Apache Longbow helicopter mechanic was to prepare his 'birds,' as he called them, to go into battle." 

She said he was 22 when he lost his life. 

"He was a beautiful blue-eyed boy who was always there to help friends," she said. "Especially the underdogs."

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Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings spoke at the ceremony as well, stating "I encourage everyone to honor and remember our fallen soldiers and their families by supporting our military services' brave men and women… and our veterans who have proudly fought to protect our freedoms and the families that support them."

Toward the end of the proceedings, they showed the photos of 13 service members killed during the August 26, airport bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan.

This is said to be Orange County’s third annual Gold Star commemoration. 

President Franklin Roosevelt established the last Sunday in September as Gold Star Day in 1936.

Watch FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.