Bertie Mae Gibbs lost so much in one lifetime: Her husband died in World War II, and her daughter-in-law lost a child to miscarriage shortly after the family received news that Bertie's son had been killed just 14 days after landing in Vietnam.
Three family members lost to the direct and indirect effects of war, a tragic example of what Gold Star families face. Gibbs died in 2009, but when Ron Webb, president of the Northeast Georgia Veterans Society, heard her story in 2016, he knew it had to be honored.
Seven years later, on a chilly mid-December day in White County, Georgia, a statue inspired by Gibbs' story was dedicated to honor the families of the county who lost service members in war. It is called Families of Fallen.
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“Bertie Mae Gibbs lost a husband, a son and a grandchild on the altar of freedom for this country,” Webb told Military.com on Tuesday.
Her first husband, Pvt. Ransome Queen, was killed in a battle against the German military in Belfort, France, in 1944, according to Webb. Gibbs later married a Korean War veteran; their son, Kenneth, followed the family tradition of service, joining the military.
When Kenneth departed for Vietnam, he left behind a wife, Brenda, who was pregnant. Fourteen days after he was ordered to Vietnam, on Sept. 4, 1967, Kenneth was killed during a Viet Cong ambush…