How Disney Honors Fallen Heroes This Memorial Day

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This Memorial Day, Disney Parks are taking time to recognize heroes who have lost their lives in military service to the United States and the loving families who keep their legacies alive.

The Disney Parks Blog noted National Military Appreciation Month along with Memorial Day in welcoming Gold Star Families to Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. These families were received by Disney’s SALUTE Veteran Employee Resource Group and TAPS – the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.

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A Gold Star Family is the immediate family of a service member who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces during wartime or as a result of injuries sustained during combat operations. The term “Gold Star” refers to the gold star symbol that is traditionally displayed on a service flag or banner to indicate that a family member has died while serving in the military. Gold Star Families receive certain benefits and recognition as a way of honoring their loved one’s sacrifice.

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CEO of The Walt Disney Company Bob Iger, posted on Twitter today,

On Memorial Day, we pay our respects and reflect on the bravery and profound sacrifice of our fallen heroes who proudly served and gave their lives for our country.  Honored that @Disney was able to welcome Gold Star families to @WaltDisneyWorld

A group of about 50 people from Gold Star families bonded at Magic Kingdom this Memorial Day weekend and shared stories of their experiences. “Moments like this of joy and community are an important part of the grief journey,” said Diana Hosford, Vice President, Sports & Entertainment of TAPS.

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Some Disneyland Resort hotels and backstage spots at Walt Disney World Resort feature Missing Hero tables. These honor American military members who died in service or went missing in action. Each table is set for one, with a slice of lemon and a pinch of salt on the bread plate, an inverted glass, and an empty chair.

Check out the Disney Parks Blog for more details and featured Veteran Cast Members.

About Lana Porter

Lana has never lost a Disney Trivia night. Maybe it’s the hundreds of times she’s been to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, her love for Disney’s ’90’s era hand-animated musicals, or the fact that she’s often likened to cartoon characters, but Disney and its magic have a special place in her heart. Her favorite Disney experiences include the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival, eating Mickey Bars on the PeopleMover, and crying during the Magic Kingdom fireworks show. One day she hopes to be chosen as the rebel spy on Star Tours. When Lana isn’t Park Hopping, she’s at home reading books of all topics, watching her favs on Disney+, or snuggling her two cats, which she swears are not named after Disney characters. She loves surprising people with her knowledge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but admits she is still catching up with Star Wars. She is happy to combine her excitement for writing with her love for Disney-style storytelling and share what she can with the world!