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Gold Star

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Below is the poem entitled Gold Star which was written by poet Bob Quigley. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Gold Star

I remember as a young boy, going out to play, I would sometimes see old Mr. Kimball, sitting on the steps of his porch, often 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 couple of days later, I saw a hearse pull up to the Kimballs 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.

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  1. Date: 5/23/2014 9:21:00 PM
    this was the perfect story for Memorial Day . I love this, thanks to Craig mentioning it in his blog. Long time no see, Bob. Hope you are well.

  1. Date: 5/23/2014 8:18:00 PM
    Bob thanks so much for this true look at service and war. Blessed Be, Light & Love

  1. Date: 5/23/2014 6:34:00 PM
    I am so glad that Craig mentioned this poem in his touching is this memory, so beautifully written. Thank you very much for sharing this with all.

  1. Date: 1/22/2012 3:37:00 PM
    Hi Bob, I am new on here. Your Gold star poem was recommended to me to read. I am so glad I did. Your writing is so sensitive and unveiling - I shall come and read more when I come back from the shops. All the very best Bob, you are a treasure, Blessings, Brenda : )

    Quigley Avatar Bob Quigley
    Date: 1/22/2012 5:08:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Brenda, thank you for your very kind comments. I am glad that I has something to say the you found worthy. Welcome to the soup. I hope you will visit me again.
  1. Date: 1/21/2012 9:51:00 AM
    Hi Bob, I just spent some time reading quite a few of your narratives today. You are an unique poet Bob. you are able to see, interact, understand and relate what surrounds you. You have this innate ability to take your readers and make us see. That which moves you, will move us. Thank you Bob. JT (I was reminded by this work of the movie "5 Sullivans" WWII. All 5 lost on the same ship and the 5 star flag in the window of the family home.)

    Quigley Avatar Bob Quigley
    Date: 1/21/2012 10:07:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Very kind words John. I quess that is why I write these narratives. Glad to know that what I have to offer has some meaning to others. Thank you
  1. Date: 1/20/2012 2:55:00 PM
    I love this powerful and very sad piece, Bob. Many congrats to you too, my friend : )

    Quigley Avatar Bob Quigley
    Date: 1/20/2012 5:09:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thanks Jack. Much appreciated
  1. Date: 1/20/2012 11:13:00 AM
    WOW.....A beautiful story....sad end.Dont forget Mr. Kimball. - oxox love Anne-Lise

    Quigley Avatar Bob Quigley
    Date: 1/20/2012 12:21:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thank you Anne Lise. Unfortunately, there are too many stories like this. All we can do is remember those who gave. Like Mr Kimball. Thanks for stopping by.
  1. Date: 1/20/2012 10:02:00 AM
    Also Bob..did you ever think this poem would have touched so many hearts here on the It was nice for me to read thru all the warm comments below. I hope to read more of these historical topics from u in the near future..WAY TO GO! Gwendolen

  1. Date: 1/20/2012 9:59:00 AM
    Bob, I am saving this one to my favs..It is filled with sincere emotion about one of the most tumultuous times in recent American history. Hearing an explanation and seeing one are so vastly different-especially to a child. The image of the box with the American flag must of chilled that boy's soul .I also noted Anne Lise's comment below and I can understand her sensitivity..You cannot change the culture of the era..maybe there are service flags now that are gender neutral. I am curious to know. I SO appreciate this poem. Hugs.

  1. Date: 1/19/2012 1:25:00 PM
    That is a tear jerker for sure..Many lost their lives so that we will have a free homeland..Great presentation of the topic..Thanks for stopping by and letting me know that I placed in the contest..Sara

    Quigley Avatar Bob Quigley
    Date: 1/19/2012 2:18:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thanks for visiting Sara
  1. Date: 1/19/2012 10:43:00 AM
    a breathing expo on the pain and glory of war... beautiful, bob! :) huggs

    Quigley Avatar Bob Quigley
    Date: 1/19/2012 10:51:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thanks Nette
  1. Date: 1/19/2012 9:09:00 AM
    Wow Bob, Often thoughts about the greatest generation neglect to consider the emotions of those back home and the anticipation of not knowing and sometimes worse, knowing. Bless those that sacrificed life and limb, and also those that sacrificed their hearts and children. No generation now or ever can forget this or what it meant then or now. I live in a neighborhood with a Gold Star family. Their daughter was killed in Iraq last year. Some don't understand that a piece of your heart has no gender

    Quigley Avatar Bob Quigley
    Date: 1/19/2012 9:59:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I couldn't have said it better then you just did Craig. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
  1. Date: 1/19/2012 8:05:00 AM
    It is an interesting piece,Bob.Well done!Thank you for congrats.

    Quigley Avatar Bob Quigley
    Date: 1/19/2012 8:13:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thank you Fabiyas
  1. Date: 1/18/2012 3:03:00 PM
    Well.....I am a girl.....:)oxox Anne-Lise

    Quigley Avatar Bob Quigley
    Date: 1/18/2012 5:14:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    No argument there. But if you are needling me about it being about sons only, I'm sorry. That was how it was. Unfortunately, women in service did not get the recognition, and at that time, were not allowed to be in combat.
  1. Date: 1/17/2012 4:29:00 PM
    Families dreaded the moment when Western Union delivered the news that their son was reported killed in action. You have written this account very descriptively well.

    Quigley Avatar Bob Quigley
    Date: 1/17/2012 10:22:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    You are so right. The devil on the doorstep.
  1. Date: 1/17/2012 11:44:00 AM
    Stopping by to thank you for your kind comments on my poetry Bob. It is always a pleasure to read your poetry. Love, Carol

    Quigley Avatar Bob Quigley
    Date: 1/17/2012 12:25:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Appreciate it Carol. Thank you
  1. Date: 1/17/2012 9:17:00 AM
    Bloody Hell Bob, this is so good, i see the exact situation in my own childhood. every now and then i read a poem that brings home to me what life is all about. this is one of those, to my favourites along with yourself.

    Quigley Avatar Bob Quigley
    Date: 1/17/2012 10:35:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thanks Harry. Means a lot. Much appreciated.
  1. Date: 1/16/2012 2:29:00 PM
    A beautiful heart-wrenching story, Bob. Thanks for sharing. Love, Kim

    Quigley Avatar Bob Quigley
    Date: 1/16/2012 3:00:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Appreciate it Kim.
  1. Date: 1/16/2012 11:10:00 AM
    Oh man! This story hit me hard Bob... I mean Hard! Whew. You told it so well and it fills the heart my friend.... it just fills the heart in so many ways! A masterful write about real people heroes. I would think this should go into a magazine somewhere. American Legion,, DAV, VFW.... all of them. Thank you for sharing it. God bless them all and you as well.