Private banquet honors parents and mentors
Cadets present Silver Star pins.
Following the commencement ceremony at Crestmont on June 12, the cadets participated in the annual Silver Star Banquet, in honor of their parents and mentors.
“We want to celebrate these Silver Star parents who have given so much of themselves to the cadets,” said Commissioner Patricia Swyers, territorial president of women’s ministries, who presided over the event. “It is through your prayers and support that they are here.”
In 1930, Evangeline Booth, then National Commander of The Salvation Army in America, inaugurated the Order of the Silver Star as a means to recognize and honor each mother whose son or daughter was commissioned as a Salvation Army officer. In 1936, the award became an international tradition.
In 2001, the name changed to Fellowship of the Silver Star in order to affirm the importance of the entire family. Officers can now bestow the honor upon two people, including a father.
Called to witness
Following an introduction of National Leaders Commissioners Israel L. and Eva D. Gaither by Commissioner Philip Swyers, Commissioner Eva Gaither warned that the cadets would soon be on the move.
“Watch out world,” Gaither said. “The Witnesses for Christ are coming.
“We are all called into this world to be witnesses; Christ said, ‘Ye shall be my witnesses,’” she said. “Because you carry that name, there is an even stronger importance for you to witness.”
In his spoken tribute, Cadet Robert Davidson said, “The star you’re receiving today represents what you have meant and will always mean to us. You raised us; clothed us; fed us; comforted us; watched us fall down and helped us get up; made us dream and believe; and gave us what it took to achieve our dream of officership. Today we stand here as a result of the investment each of you have made with your lives as you sacrificed so much of your time, strength and abilities for us; and we say thank you.”
Each cadet pinned their Silver Star honorees and Commissioners Swyers presented a framed certificate to all 29 recipients. Seven cadets received a white rose in memory of their mother or father.
Commissioner Israel L. Gaither then prayed, asking the parents and mentors to stand.
Colonels William and Susan Harfoot concluded with a song, “Witnessing for Jesus,” and prayer, respectively.