During World War II, it was common for households to place stars in their windows to represent how many family members were in the armed forces. And, if one of them died serving their country, the star would be replaced with a gold one.
“There were six gold stars on my block in Kansas City,” American Legion member and World War II veteran Charles Purcell said on Memorial Day. “One for my next-door neighbor. One for an only child. One for my brother ... Today we celebrate those ‘gold stars.’ “