I remember those years of “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree” and “I’ll be Seeing You” and “When the Lights go on again” It was an eerily gay time living by the Norfolk Naval Yard. My dad filled up our house with stray marines and sailors every weekend and sometimes they stayed over. I remember the brave smiles on everyones’s faces … except the Gold Star Mothers, of course. America suffered 291,557 battle deaths. That’s a lot of Gold Star Mothers. But it seemed to my admittedly childish mind that they kept out of the way. Some had more than one star on their door.
But something had to happen before you became a Gold Star Mother and that hadn’t
happened to us yet and so we laughed and partied like heathens while keeping a close eye on the mailbox. Some families first learned of a soldier’s demise with the delivery of a box marked “the effects of Private First Class Whomever.” And that might be it for months. It was a strange time; the giddy anticipation, the fear. We lived at the top of the highest peak of the Coney Island Roller Coaster for four years, teetering, anticipating that horrendous drop with a grin.
It was the time for music and song, and Glenn Miller and his orchestra were ready. Yes, someone was going to be crying but not us, not you and me. Everything would be okay for you and me. Yessiree, it would. And everyone believed, except for the Golf Star Mothers.