For parents of military members killed in combat, honoring their children's legacy can be incredibly important.
A St. Charles County Gold Star Mother is working to honor her fallen son and she's asking for your help to do it.
St. Charles County officials are planning a new park. Right now, the idea is to name it Baltic Park, after a nearby creek. But Julie Vinnedge, mother of Marine Lance Corporal Phillip Vinnedge, believes she has a better idea.
“I'm collecting signatures to get the new park named after my son,” said Vinnedge.
Phillip Vinnedge was 19 when he was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010. He grew up just down the street from the new park and his mother thinks the hometown hero's name belongs there.
“The Gold Star community wants an individual's name used because then it has more of an impact. It shows that individual will not be forgotten.”
Vinnedge is spending her holiday weekend collecting signatures at Mr. Whelan's Fireworks in St. Peters. Whelan taught Vinnedge in high school. Now he's joining the effort to honor the young marine's sacrifice.
“I feel blessed is what I feel. And to me it is easy,” said Whelan. “What allows us to chill and shoot fireworks in our back yard is the fact that we're protected.”
Since Saturday more than 600 people have inked their names.
“I felt like if I could help contribute to that because of what his sacrifice was then I might as well,” said petition-signer Ashley Oshel.
The online petition has gathered more than 800 signatures from across the U.S. and even some from Europe and the South Pacific.
“I have received so many hugs and so many stories. When people say they never forget, that is what is so important to a Gold Star family,” said Vinnedge.
If you'd like to sign the petition you can visit Mr. Whelan's Fireworks at 3943 Mid Rivers Mall Drive in St. Peters until 11:00 Monday night or from 2:00-11:00 PM Tuesday.
You can also sign online by clicking here.
Vinnedge plans to present the signatures to the St. Charles County Council during its meeting on July 10th.