David Bowden: This Memorial Day, teach your children well

Freedom isn’t free. It comes at a very dear price.

Over the centuries, hundreds of thousands of individuals and their families have paid that price: the sacrifice of their own hopes, dreams, and lives for the sake of the freedoms we enjoy (and sometimes take for granted) in the United States of America.

We must not lose sight of this enormous cost that has been borne by so many freedom-loving Americans. Memorial Day helps remind us that “Freedom isn’t Free.”

On May 27, the Columbus Philharmonic will offer a concert on the Courthouse Lawn next to the Veterans Memorial.

We call the program “Salute!” and it is presented free of charge, at 7 p.m., thanks to numerous community organizations. This will be the 22nd year that we have come together as Americans to honor and remember those who gave us the freedoms we experience in our great country.

The Columbus Republic will produce an insert Thursday that will include the names of those from Bartholomew County who made the ultimate sacrifice. Many of those names, along with excerpts from their letters home, are engraved on the columns of the Memorial for Veterans at the Courthouse. Each of these men and women died serving our country. I invite you to read through those names carefully and be thankful, perhaps offering a prayer of gratitude for them and their families.

In the meantime, if you know someone who currently is serving or who is a military veteran, please express your appreciation for their commitment to our nation.

Most of all, consider talking about the meaning of Memorial Day with the children in your life. You might tell them that freedom is precious, that our military protects us and ensures that we remain free. Let them know that those who lost their lives in war did so for all of us. Explain how their love of country has helped make the United States the world’s beacon on the hill. Perhaps even read with them through the names listed in The Republic’s “Salute!” insert.

Years from now your children and grandchildren may impart this essential truth to their children and grandchildren: “Freedom isn’t free.”

Proud to be an American!