FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWTI) — Military leaders are honoring Gold Star Spouses.

April 5 is Gold Star Spouses Day, a day of honor recognizing spouses of active-duty Soldiers who “paid the ultimate sacrifice,” and were killed in combat.

According to the U.S. Army, the term Gold Star family refers to the Service Flag first flown by families during World War I. The flag included a blue star for family members in the U.S. military, and if a loved one died, the blue star was replaced by a gold star.

The Gold Star Wives was formed before the end of World War II and the Gold Star Label Button was established in August 1947 by Congress. Gold Star Spouses Day is observed annually on April 5 to recognize the sacrifices made, according to the Army.

Below is a statement included in an online Army feature regarding the day of honor.

“The strength of our nation is our Army The strength of our Army is our Soldiers. The strength of our Soldiers is our families. The Army recognizes that no one has given more for the nation than the families of the fallen.”

Gold Star Spouses Day also has a large impact in Northern New York as it is home to the 10th Mountain Division at the Fort Drum military base and over 20,000 Soldiers.

“Today’s observance is an opportunity for America’s blue-collar division to honor the surviving husbands and wives of fallen soldiers,” 10th Mountain Division Commanding General Major General Milford H. Beagler Jr., said in a video. “Gold Star Spouses are the resilient legacies of their servicemember’s sacrifice to the nation.”

In a social media post, the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum further honored these spouses in the following statement:

Today, on Gold Star Spouses Day, we recognize the spouses of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation. As the resilient legacies of their Soldier’s service, they carry the memory of their loved ones with solemn dignity. We remember, respect, and honor our fallen military heroes and the sacrifice and strength of surviving families.