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#718398 05/28/22 03:09 PM
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In World War I, The “Blue Star Mothers” in The United States of America began hanging a banner with a blue star in recognition of their kids who were actively serving in the military. If one was killed, the blue star was replaced by one of gold – a symbol of pain and pride. The tradition continues today. My oldest two sons, one a Soldier and the other a Marine, both joined the military right out of high school during Operation Iraqi Freedom. I also put a banner in my window, but when my oldest was killed by a sniper in an ambush in Baghdad while trying to protect other soldiers and some civilians, one of those blue stars became gold. May 29th is my son, Brandon’s birthday and Memorial Day is the following day. The excellent song “Twenty-one Tear Salute” posted on this forum by Dewey Longuski, reminded me of this song I wrote years ago as a form of self-therapy. It was a little difficult to mix (as they all are for me), so let me know what you think – and have a safe and memorable Memorial Day Weekend - Brad.

Banner In The Window

There’s a banner in the window where a blue star became gold.
It brings to mind the pain and pride so many of us know.
Another soldier’s fallen and won’t be coming home.
There’s friends and family callin’, but the pain won’t let go.
And there, inside, the family cries.
Oh, the cost of freedom has its price.

‘Cause all across the country, from sea to shining sea,
they’ve left their homes and all they’ve known to fight for you and me.
And for the one’s not coming back, their story’s told
on that banner in the window where the blue star became gold.

Some won’t remember, oh, but others can’t forget,
that it’s not the way that they died, but the way that they lived
that made American heroes give all that they could give.
So I refuse to believe that a memory is all that they have left.

In every corner of this nation our flag still proudly waves.
It waves in celebration of our freedom and price they paid.
And it stands for a way of life that some will never know
and in honor of the sacrifice when a blue star became gold.

So, now it’s up to you and me to keep alive the legacy,
to grab the mane of freedom and don’t ever let her go.
And, somewhere deep within our hearts remember those who bear the scars
and the pain when a blue star became gold.
Somewhere deep within our hearts remember those who bear the scars
And the pain when a blue star became gold.

The Band:
Drums: Brian Fullen _NRCKBST.STY
Bass: Dow Tomlin _POPH085.STY
Acoustic Guitar: Jason Roller _POPH085.STY
Pedal Steel Gutiar: Steve Hinson _NRCKBST.STY
Piano: Blair Masters _PMODGR2.STY
Organ: Gene Rabbai _BALBMS2.STY
Electric Guitar: Dave Cleveland
Lead Guitar Outro: Brent Mason _BALBMS2.STY

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Hey Brad...first of all I can't imagine losing my son, so I can only imagine what you and your wife have been through in loss of yours...this song breaks my heart not only for you but for all of the parents of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who have made the ultimate sacrifice not only for this country but for the freedom of people in other countries as well...this is a powerful song and I can hear the pain of a father in your voice as you sing it..as Memorial Day approaches, thank you for the reminder of what freedom costs and please accept my heartfelt sadness and sincere thanks for the service and sacrifice of your sons for this country...may we never take it for granted or forget...

Dan

PS...great job on the track and production.


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Hi Brad,

First of all my sincere sympathy with the loss of your son.
My mother always said: "Losing a child is the worst thing that can happen to you. We simply didn't get the tools to
cope with it".

Also in my country, the Netherlands, a lot of young people lost their lives in foreign countries.
Srebrenica is a national trauma here.
Only recently became clear (by means of a documentary) how helpless and abandoned they had felt.
Seeing what happened, but unable to do something because no one came to help.

I hope this song, which is beautiful, helps.
Music cannot do miracles, but it can certainly sooth the pain.

Anne-Marie


We are Rob Meulman and Anne-Marie Bovenkamp from The Netherlands.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1gsdNLE7_Gy8qavoOplQow/videos
http://rnam.net/


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Thank you, Brad. That's beautiful. Painful pride. You're bringing out the tears just like Dewey did. Damn, this song is so good. So well written and sung. Such pride and sorrow in your voice. I didn't even notice the mix; some songs shine on their own, and this one is so bright. A stout salute to the Williams family.


Enjoy whatever happens!
marty

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Thank you for the nice comments Dan, Anne-Marie, and Marty. Unfortunately, I know I'm not in this boat alone. I know there are many others, including on this forum, that have experienced the same or similar circumstances. I remember the advice I got from a commander, mentor and friend of mine, Bart Owens, right after I got the news about Brandon: "Pursue happiness, they fought and died so that you could. Anything else would be a slap in the face." Bart was awarded the bronze star in Viet Nam and Brandon was awarded it in Iraq. The words are often hard to live up to, but I believe them to be correct. I think it's a responsibility we all have and an opportunity that was given to us by all those who have made the sacrifices.

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Hello Brad
You have written a very calm title
Sounds great
Very soulful singing
Nice guitar solo
Great work Brad
Many greetings
Andi ;-)

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First of all Brad, I want to thank you for the sacrifice your family has made for our country! I never take that for granted! Songs like this are so special because they are REAL to you and others who sing from personal experience!
Great job on this beautiful track! The backing really cradles the vocals in a perfect way! Vocals are emotive and effective! Great solo chosen for the outro!

Thanks, Torrey




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A poignant story-song told straight from the heart. Very touching.

It seems a bit petty to nitpick a song with such a meaningful message but the line "the cost of freedom has its price" seems a bit tautological. Freedom has its cost or its price perhaps but both pushes the envelope a somewhat.

That aside, I'm glad you shared the story of the blue and gold banners (I never knew) and that of your own pain. A great way to honor those who served but never made it home.


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Well written, and what a touching story! A parents worse nightmare.

Good job on this all around.

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Thanks for listening Andi, Torrey, Ghostgum, and Dave. I don't consider a critique nitpicking at all Ghostgum. I appreciate it, and I agree. I kind of thought the same thing when I wrote it, but didn't come up with an alternative as you suggested. Overtime I've written a few songs on this topic, but I don't spend a lot of time on them. I've got a lot of great things to celebrate in my life and dwelling on this can bring me pretty far down at times. As Anne-Marie mentioned, music can sometimes help me work through emotions and I just write them for myself not necessarily for anyone else to hear. Some though have connected with other gold star families, and I actually only recorded this one at the request of another gold star dad that I'd played it for. So, anyway, thanks for your thoughts.

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Great tribute to the Gold Star families, Brad! My wife and I attended the Memorial Ceremony this morning in Mason, MI and two of the wreaths were there in honor of the blue and gold star banners. Thank you for writing this one!

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We are very sorry for your loss, Brad.

Your song for him and for all the Gold and Blue Star families is a fine tribute.

The band supports your heartfelt vocal very well.

Music is truly good therapy.

J&B

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Sorry for your loss Brad. Beautiful song Brad. Vocal and lyric were heartwrenching. Beautiful tribute.


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Brad,

My heart goes out to you and your family.

fj

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