is Not Free
Before, if you
asked me about freedom, I could give you the immediate dictionary
definition and tell you that as an American, I was graced with quite a
bit. It took a class trip to Washington DC to make me fully understand
the cost of this right.
A phrase I saw several times in the nation's capital was, “Freedom is
not free.” After some reflection, I truly was able to realize the
authenticity of this quote. To be free, you must pay with blood, sweat,
and tears. A few certain places come to mind while hearing this, one
being Arlington Cemetery. Walking it was truly a surreal, yet saddening,
experience. As far as the eye can see are rows among rows of white
crosses. Looking over the fields, a somber sense of gratitude crept over
me. These crosses were people who paid with their lives to improve ours.
I received a similar feeling when at the Vietnam memorial. The granite
was hot from the afternoon sun, nearly searing the names into my palm.
At the base of the wall were bouquets of flowers, cards, and pictures of
our veterans. Each of those people on that wall had a family and friends
that they went off to fight for. It was probably one of the hardest
things they'd ever do, and I commend them for that. Everywhere I went,
every name on every wall had believed in our country so much, they were
willing to die for it.
In the end, freedom is all about sacrifices. The memorials represent
brave soldiers fighting and risking their lives for a better future,
even though they probably did not get to experience it. Just look at
World War II, we lost over 100,000 courageous soldiers as they battled
for our country. They had the fate of our nation in their hands, and
they molded it into something remarkable. Even now, there are soldiers
risking all they’ve got in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. The path
to freedom is not pretty. It's gory and filled with sorrow, but the
outcome is all worth it. It takes people like our soldiers to help move
our nation forward because after all, freedom is not free.