Remember the cost of liberty

May 30, 2004

Dear Editor:

All across this great land of ours, row on row of marble and granite stones, in near perfect alignment, placed there by the living mark the graves of the dead.

On Memorial Day, a special observance and legal holiday since 1868, many of us will visit those cemeteries to remember and pay tribute to loved ones buried there. While there, we will lovingly and tenderly place flowers on their graves.

During those visits, it will be noted that small flags of our country will have been placed with dignity and respect by thoughtful individuals beside some of those stones to mark the graves of those who, through military service, served their country.


To all who pass by those specially marked graves and take note of them, the "Star Spangled Banner," waving in the warm breezes of late May, is a powerful reminder of a tremendously important fact that none of us should ever forget.

The liberty - freedom or release from any form of arbitrary or tyrannical control - we enjoy in this great and good land of ours is, indeed, a precious possession that did not come easily and without a struggle. In terms of human sacrifice, the cost of this liberty we cherish is great. While some may regard liberty lightly and take it for granted, other persons - unknown individuals, acquaintances, friends, and family members - willingly fought for it, and some of them, making the supreme sacrifice, died that we might have this precious possession as our heritage.

Knowing that we are beneficiaries of their sacrifices ought to move each one of us to greater appreciation for their service to our country and the precious possession their service secured for us.

This Memorial Day, walk through the cemetery and take note of the flags placed there to mark certain graves and remember the cost of liberty.

Then, pause for a moment and be thankful while you remember that the cost of liberty is far beyond calculation.

Howard Coop


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