They came in plain cardboard boxes with a note inside expressing our nation’s condolences and offering the enclosed flag as token of gratitude and as a sentimental reminder of the ultimate sacrifice their loved ones made for our country.
During WWII these boxes were preceded by a telegram notifying the recipient of the death of their son, daughter, sister, brother, husband or wife in the service of the United States.
The box that I opened with my close friend last night contained a burial flag but instead of white stars on a blue background it had gold stars on the same background. The significance, if any, of the gold stars is perhaps a moot point in that the flag itself was a symbolic reminder of their loss.
In today’s email I read a DoD press release: “DoD Identifies Marine Casualty.” Unfortunately another grieving family will receive their own flag soon. Semper Fi.