When I See a Blue Star Banner

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I am the very proud mother of Petty Officer Adam Stevenson and Petty Officer Erik Stevenson who are serving in the United States Navy and attached to the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the capacity of electrical technicians and working in the ship’s nuclear-powered reactor department.

To say that I am proud mother is actually the biggest understatement I could make. My heart swells to think of my twin sons serving our country in such an important occupation -- knowing that they work side-by-side with other “power professionals” in defense of our great nation is indeed an honor and a privilege for this mother.

Our family displays a Blue Star Banner in our front window. This banner or service flag has been a nationally recognized symbol of the American military family for nearly one hundred years. Is there a better way to display my love and pride for these sons than by hanging a Blue Star Banner in my front window for all the world to see?

At first thought my answer would be “No, there is no better way”. Naturally, I am very grateful for my two-starred banner and gaze at it fondly every single day, thinking of my sons and the sacrifice of our family to have two loved ones in active duty at this time.

But today I know there actually is a better way, an even more effective way to show this feeling of military family pride...

When the Blue Star Banner was first designed and used in America in 1917 during World War I, our society was still very neighborhood-oriented, there were relatively few cars in the villages and folks on the blocks all knew each other. Horse-drawn carriages and wagons were still the common mode of transportation in rural and suburban areas, although cars were becoming more and more important and affordable to the general public.

In 2014, almost one hundred years later, America is mobile. Many of us spend more time in our cars and SUVs that we spend in our homes. We are families on the road -- driving to shopping places, recreation places, workplaces and general gathering places. Commutes and traveling make up a large portion of every single day.

The military family has hung their Blue Star Banner in their front window or on their front door, but they probably aren’t home right now…

How wonderful it would be if we could take that beautiful American symbol of family pride and love on the road with us! What if wherever we travel, our banner traveled with us!

A Blue Star Banner license plate would be the new perfect way to show the world how proud we are to be a military family in the great state of Illinois.

Natalie Stevenson
Proud Mother