The Gold Star

I remember as a young boy, going out to play, I would often see old Mr Kimball, sitting on the steps of his porch, reading the paper.  World War II was in full swing so the newspapers and radios were avidly sought out for the latest news.  Mr. Kimball was a fireman, and probably not even that old, but he seemed that way to me.

Sometimes, he would invite me to sit with him and we would talk about everything and nothing.  I loved spending time with him because he was the only grown up I knew that took the time to entertain the mind of a young boy.

In his front window hung a small flag.  It had a red border surrounding a white field, upon which there were two blue stars.  I was always curious about it, so I asked him what it was.  He said “It’s a Sons In Service flag.  One star for each son serving.  You remember my boys don’t you?”  I did of course.  Chuck, the oldest, used to tease me, calling me a sissy to get a reaction.  Bobby was a couple of years younger, and the bike I was riding once had been his.

Mr. Kimball went on to explain how Chuck was now in the Army and fighting in France.  Bobby was in the Navy, aboard a ship somewhere in the Pacific.  He didn’t say it, but I’m sure he was worried about both, communications being what they were back then.

One day, when I was walking over to see him, I noticed that the flag had changed.  It now carried one blue star, but the other one was gold.  With the innocence that comes of being a child, I asked what the gold star meant.  He quietly said “It means Chuck is coming home”, and without further comment, he turned and went in the house.

A few days later, I saw a hearse pull up to the Kimball’s house, and four men carry a flag draped box up the porch steps.  That is the moment the meaning of war came to a small boy.  I knew Chuck was home.

I offer this  in remembrance to all that are serving and have served.  I owe you my thanks and my freedom.

About oldmainer

I am a retired manager living in Southern Maine and a would be writer of poetry, narratives, short stories, and random opinions, and that's how Oldmainer was born. Recently, I decided to try an experiment. I added photography to the mix, using only a cheap cell phone with a limited camera and the editing software that came with it, and added the blog site Inklings at poormanspoet.wordpress.com to showcase the results. So, feel free to use whatever you find interesting or worthy, but please honor the terms of my copyright when and if you do. They may not be much, but they are still a piece of me. I appreciate your checking me out and hope that you find something that will encourage a return visit. Thanks for stopping by.
This entry was posted in Children, Death, Home, Memories, Military, Reflection, Sad, Tribute, War and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Gold Star

  1. kathy norris says:

    Beautiful – my father was a marine! What a touching story!

    Like

  2. laurie27wsmith says:

    Very touching Bob. Simple yet heart felt, I like it.

    Like

  3. a fine and tenderly presented vignette of the era

    Like

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