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France Living

Memorial Day 2020

A scene from the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy in France. I visited this sacred spot last fall on a beautiful September afternoon – just after seeing Omaha Beach and Pointe du Hoc.

Buried here are 9,385 Americans who lost their lives in World War II defending freedom – most during the D-Day landings and ensuing operations in the area.

Another reminder: Freedom is not free.

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Current Affairs History Living Photography Photography - Canon 5D Mark II San Francisco/California

Memorial Day 2013 – Freedom Is Not Free

Freedom is not Free - Golden Gate National Cemetery - 2009

On this beautiful Memorial Day morning, I’ve been looking back at some of the earlier Memorial Days I’ve written about here.

Last year, I was reminded by the pastor at my Mom’s church that Memorial Day was first called Decoration Day – that it dates back to just after the Civil War and was a commemoration of the soldiers who died in that war.

Again today we remember both those who sacrificed their lives in service to our country as well as memories of those close to us.

According to Wikipedia, “Freedom Is Not Free” was first coined by retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, Walter Hitchcock, of New Mexico Military Institute and “expresses gratitude for the service of members of the military, implicitly stating that the freedoms enjoyed by many citizens in many democracies are only possible through the voluntary risks taken and sacrifices made by those in military. The saying is often used to convey respect specifically to those who gave their lives in defense of freedom.”

Once again this year, we remember them. Never forget.

The image above is from Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California – taken on an early January morning in 2009. Had it been taken on Memorial Day, small American flags would have been placed in front of each of the headstones – we can see them in our mind’s eye.