Kathryn Codiamat Gwen Quackenboss
Gwen Quackenboss/Dick Isackson/Kathryn Codiamat Gwen Quackenboss/Dick Isackson/Kathryn Codiamat

Essay by Kathryn Codiamat
Good morning
What is the Cost of Freedom?
Decorated soldiers walk down the aisle with beautiful wreaths during the Memorial Day ceremony. Each one represents a branch of the military and all the soldiers in each branch that died for our country. I can not possibly visualize what horrendous things these dead soldiers had to go through, the terrifying things they saw in war. They made the ultimate sacrifice, losing their lives for us and for our freedom. They paid the cost of freedom.

What is the cost of freedom? Freedom is something that should not be taken for granted, because freedom is a gift given to us in return for the lives of many soldiers. These men and women in uniform go into battle, knowing that they could return home injured or that they might not come home at all. A mother and father could lose a child. A daughter or a son could lose a parent.

These people sacrificed their lives for us, for everyday citizens that they probably do not even know. They go to war, knowing that they will miss out on their child's birthday, graduation, or wedding. They do this for us, so that we can live peacefully. They do this for America. They paid the cost of freedom.

At first, I used to think of Memorial Day as another holiday or the unofficial beginning of summer, but it is really more than that. I realize now that it is hard to leave your family, or to watch your relatives leave for who knows how long. I remember how it was like, watching my father leave and counting down the days of when he will be back. I remember crying myself to sleep, silently praying in my head, Please be back soon, please. The bittersweet moments celebrating Thanksgiving , opening presents on Christmas day, and starting the New Year, without my father there. But my father was only gone for 6 months. I can only imagine what other families felt, waiting for their loved ones to be back, only to have someone at your front door telling you that they are not coming back.

Without these soldiers, we would not be able to enjoy freedoms - like the ability to go to school, the joy of going outside to play with friends, having peaceful walks on the beach, or even sleeping comfortably in our homes. While these things may seem insignificant , they are a part of our freedom, the freedom that sometimes we tend to take for granted. The freedom that we still have because of those soldiers who are courageous enough to fight for us, to fight for our country.

I realize now that our freedom is not free. Because of the all the soldiers who fought, we have all the freedoms that we have today. But Memorial Day is not just a day when we grieve the soldiers' deaths, instead we must honor and thank them for the sacrifices they made for us. As General George S. Patton once said, "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we thank God that such men lived." These soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice for us, and for this, we must remember them, today, tomorrow, and for the rest of our lives. Because without them, we would not be able to live our lives like we do now. Because of them, America will always be the Land of the Free.

Thank you

Essay by Gwen Quackenboss
Good morning
What is the Cost of Freedom?
Memorial Day means different things to different people. To some it means fireworks and hot dogs. and to others it can mean honoring a past family member. To me it means appreciating those who fight to protect our freedom and those who pay the cost of staying free. Sometimes we forget how high this cost is. We forget how Lucky we are to have such amazing people who put their Lives on the Line for millions of Americans.

Not only do the active-duty service members pay a Large price for freedom. their family members do too. You may think that military families are Like any other family. Non-military families usual y Live in the same town for the majority of their Life. Dad might come home Late. but usually in time for dinner. and always in time for bedtime. Every Christmas they have all their family members gathered around the table for Christmas dinner.

For military families it's different. They can Live in many different places during their Life. A parent might be deployed for a year or more. and they can miss important things Like Christmas and birthdays.

I may never Live Like a military child because my Life is basically Like any other civilian child. but my family knows what it is Like. My uncle served in the U.S Army and was assigned to Alaska when my aunt was pregnant with my first cousin.

In the period of time that my uncle was assigned to Alaska my cousin was born. You may be asking yourself. "What's wrong with that?" In this situation the price was paid by the family members who didn't get to see the new baby for months. Families really pay a big toll in the cost of freedom.

In America we are fortunate enough to have many freedoms such as the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion. We may think that all our freedoms have come from Revolutionary War rebellions and Civil War heroes. We do give great amounts of credit to them and they made our freedoms possible, but we couldn't keep our freedoms without our modern day heroes. And no, I'm not talking about Superman or the Hulk. I'm talking about the American soldiers who are saving America's freedoms. These men and women are the true heroes.

So right now I would like to thank all those who are paying or have paid the high cost of freedom that keeps us free. They are the real reason we are all sitting here today and the reason I was even allowed to write this essay. So this Memorial Day don't just remember America but America's heroes, and that no matter how high the cost of freedom may be. These brave men and women will always be there to protect us.