“Mom, what does the gold star mean?”


I’m a  baby boomer, born a few years after World War  II. I remember walking past houses on my way to school that had a  gold star–or multiple stars–displayed in their front windows, just a simple gold star printed on a square of white card stock. There were enough of them in our neighborhood that I knew they were significant, so I asked my parents what they meant.

They explained that the family had lost someone in the war. It was a star honoring the family and the fallen service person.

I would walk past those houses with a quiet reverence, and say a prayer for them, much like I still do when I wait for a funeral procession to pass by.

I know, and I suspect most decent people know that it’s not about us.

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