Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Remember Who Paid For Your Freedom

I stumbled across this picture on Michelle Malkin's blog. I liked the picture and that led me to follow some of the links she provided.

winter wreaths at Arlington

Worcester Wreath Company which was founded by Morrill Worcester seems to be one of those American corporations that still understands the price that was paid for the freedom we all enjoy. I like that they not only talk about honoring our veterans but that they do something about it. Even more important is that they not only honor them with wreaths on their graves at Christmas but that they are active in teaching the next generation about the cost of freedom. That is something I think that the last couple generations have really dropped the ball on.

I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with my grandfather when I was younger. He made sure that I knew what it meant to be free, what that freedom cost, and who paid the price. Grandpa’s lessons in freedom were never in the form of lessons, lectures or speeches. He taught me to value our freedom by just being himself and showing me what was important to him.

My grandfather would drive from Rapid City to Sturgis SD every couple weeks to buy cheese. There was a place in Sturgis that made the best Colby longhorn cheese. The cheese was good enough that Grandpa was willing to drive 26 miles to get it. Between Sturgis and Rapid City is the Black Hills National Cemetery. We never drove past that cemetery without my grandfather making some positive comment about the character of the men buried there. He was never preachy, or overly patriotic. He would make just a plain common sense statement like "Field full of heroes coming up on our left."

Sometimes we would drive through the cemetery. We wouldn’t stop, he wouldn’t talk, we would just cruise nice and slow through the cemetery. On rare occasions Grandpa would stop the car, get out and wander around for a while. He would eventually stop at any one of several different headstones where he would pause briefly staring at the stone and then look at me and say something along the lines of “He was a good guy, one of the best, but he cheated at poker.” Then we would get in the car and head home.

Unfortunately I was too young to notice or care whose names were on the stones. I never looked or paid attention. But through the years I learned the lesson – these are the men who paid the price for our freedom.

My grandfather and my mother are now at rest in that field full of heroes.

So if you plan on buying live Christmas wreaths this year and you don’t have a local source for your wreaths, I would recommend the Worcester Wreath Company. You can purchase their products here.

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