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  Palacios to New York City   


Within the various groups of Gold Star Mothers to sail to Europe, many were of foreign birth, with the majority claiming Germany as their former homeland.  (Some of these would even continue on to visit other sons buried in Germany.)  Women from all walks of life and regions of the country traveled together; Catholics, Protestants, and Jews native born and foreign born, all sacrificed their sons to the nation and now shared the same feeling of loss.  Just as war had been a bonding experience for their sons, the pilgrimages were an attempt to present a united nation sharing a common claim to sacrifice.


Many of the women making the voyage were so poor they were unable to buy even the suitcase they needed, but regardless of income or social level, all of the women were guests of the U.S. Government.  From the moment they left their homes, all reasonable expenses were paid.  They were greeted by civic officials in New York at a city hall reception, boarded luxury liners, traveled in cabin class, stayed at first class hotels, and had an Army officer, physician and nurse accompany them abroad.  Pilgrims were escorted to the graves of their sons and husbands, then each party spent a week in either Paris or London where they were honored by the French or British government.

Mourning and the Making of a Nation: The Gold Star Mothers Pilgrimages, 1930 - 1933
Used with permission of Dr. Lisa M. Budreau



After departing Palacios by train from the Santa Fe Station on July 18, 1930, Mrs. Kelly continued on to New York City by way of Wharton, Houston, Longview, Texarkana, Memphis, Bristol, Lynchburg and Washington, DC.  The trip lasted 65 hours and 35 minutes.

Palacios, Texas Depot
Courtesy of William Loocke

Southern Pacific Special Engine 222
Wharton to Palacios
Courtesy of William Loocke


Wharton, Texas Depot
Courtesy of William Loocke









Arrived in New York City at the Penn Station terminal at 6:40 AM July 21, 1930.  After we returned from France we left from Penn Station on August 24, 1930 at 1:45 PM enroute to Topeka, Kan. by way of Chicago, Ill.

The hotel was built in 1913 and is nice beyond words. 
It is Considered one of the largest hotels in the world.




A reception for all the Gold Star Mothers and Widows was held at the City Hall before we went to the ship. While we were at the City Hall we had a chance to see the Governor's Room upstairs where the chair George Washington used when he became our first president is kept.

Continue the Journey


Copyright 2008 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Dec. 1, 2008
Jan. 9, 2009