According to RoadsideAmerica.com:
Gold Star Mothers — the moms of soldiers killed in war — have been around as an organization since 1918. Gold Star Mother memorials — stones with attached plaques — have been around since the 1930s.
Vietnam vet Fred Waterman felt that wasn’t enough. He had one of his platoon buddies, Andrew Chernak, design a statue, and in 2006 it was unveiled. The life-size bronze shows a World War II mother in shock, a single tear on her cheek. One hand braces herself against an unsteady flower stand, the little flower pot overturned. The other hand clutches a crumpled telegram.
The statue proved to be so popular that a duplicate was placed in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Chernak hopes to erect four more copies in the Midwest, Southwest, West Coast, and Washington, DC.
According to the sculptor’s website:
This statue is the first to depict a Gold Star Mother. It captures the moment after she receives the dreaded Western Union telegram informing her of the loss of her son while in service to our country.
The statue portrays a mother during World War II. She steadies herself on a plantstand bearing a photograh of her son and a toppled plant, symbolizing her world falling around her. Her face streaming with tears, bears a look of grief and shock. In her far off gaze, she is recalling her precious son’s life and all that it held, now forever gone from her.
This statue is part of an effort to educate the American public about a group of exemplary women who have turned their grief into a positive force of service for our nations Veterans.