Last year I was visiting my family in North Adams, Massachusetts. As we were looking through am old photo album, I came across a picture of my father, three brothers, and myself in front of our house.It was 1945 and W.W. 2 had just ended. My oldest brother was home on leave. It was one of the happiest days of our lives. As I studied the picture closer,I noticed a card in the window on the right. It read "ICE".My mother had to put this card out to let Mr. Mausert know we needed a block of ice for our ice box. How I hated that card. It told everyone that we could not afford a refrigerator. As I skipped through the memories of my childhood, I saw another sign. It hung in the window on the left. It was a little white flag with a red border and a blue star in the middle. I was so proud of that sign. It told everyone that we had a brother serving in the armed forces. He was fighting a war to preserve our freedom.Everyone that had someone in the service, proudly hung a flag in thier window. Our neighbor, Mrs. Miller, had a flag in her window with two stars in the middle. But sadly enough, it was a white flag with a blue border and two stars in the middle. That flag told everyone that she had lost both of her sons, fighting a war to preserve our freedom. Mrs. Miller was named the Gold Star Mother in our town.She rode in a big black convertable in the Memorial Day parade.I remember watching that car drive by and seeing the tears in my mother's eyes.I know her heart was aching for Mrs. Miller and she was thanking God for bringing her son home safe and sound. As we proudly display our United States flag this Memorial Day, remember too,the meaning of those little flags with the stars in the middle, that hung in our mother's and neighbor's window, so many years ago.

by Mary J. Lussier Clements, Boiling Springs, S.C. April 5, 2000


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