Freedom comes with a price

Published 9:44 am Tuesday, May 26, 2009

AHOSKIE — The true significance of Memorial Day is often pushed aside for an extended weekend from work and picnic gatherings.

On Monday, a small group of people assembled at No Man’s Land Park to recognize the holiday for what it was intended for —remembering those who paid the ultimate price for freedom.

Since the early 1990’s American Legion Post 102 of Ahoskie has held the Memorial Day ceremony to remember those who died serving in the United States Military.

The nation’s colors were displayed as members of Post 102 handed out flags to those who took a seat on a bench or sought out a shady spot for the ceremony.

Commander of Post 102, Herbert Lassiter, opened the service calling on Rev. Arthur Warren of the United Methodist Church in Murfreesboro to lead the crowd in prayer.

“We all know why we’re here. …Today is the day we honor our fallen veterans,” said Lassiter after the prayer.

Post 102 Chaplin Rev. William M. Reid gave his thoughts on Memorial Day.

“We come together to remember those brave men and women, those who sacrificed and fought the evils of the world,” said Reid.

He spoke about the tears and the pain faced by the fallen soldiers’ families.

“You see freedom is not free; there is a cost,” said Reid.

Reid led the crowd in singing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

After the ceremony Reid spoke to the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald about the importance of Memorial Day and how the significance has been lost on some Americans’ thoughts.

“If they could hear the voices of the mothers, fathers, see the tears and heartaches from the loss of their loved ones, they would realize that the cost of freedom rests in all of the families of the fallen heroes,” he said.

Reid noted not many face the heartache of military families.

“I think that’s why so many Americans have lost the respect for Memorial Day,” he said. “I give thanks to those Americans who do come out (to ceremonies such as these) and plant flags on the gravesites (of veterans).”