As I stood before the altar of freedom, knowing the true cost of what it means to be free. I understand what it feels to let someone you truely care about go off to war knowing this may be the last time you will ever see the light shining through them. A sacrifice, an honor, and duty to protect what is important.
I have stood at this altar many of times before. Not as a solder, but as a family member and a friend. To hear the haunting sound of taps being played and the echo of a gun shot solute on quiet morning. The stillness is what haunts me to this day. The soft clear voice spoken from one of the color guard telling the family thank you for the sacrifice on behalf of the United States as they lay the folded flag in the arms of a family member. A single tear sliding down a cheek as you find the strength to go on knowing you will miss them everyday.
As I stand at the end of a row of white headstones. Each with a name, each with a story, and each with a family. Two out of all of these stones are two veterans who served, and went on to live a long life. Three of these are family and friends who’s lives were cut short too soon. All have died with a piece of my heart and a memory stored forever with me.
As I stand before the wall of names, each one has given themselves as the sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom. A price paid with blood, and a life. Names of those who’s final resting place is only know to the Lord, who’s family still morns for them everyday.