Saturday, May 31, 2014

Freedom Isn't Free

I try to get to the Memorial Day service as often as I can.  I'll admit that I am usually a fair weather attendee.  But I enjoy the gathering and wish to pay my respects to those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.  It is always a reminder that the freedom we enjoy in this country is definitely not free.  Many have paid the price with their physical and mental health and their lives. 
 The 204th Army Band played the music.

The Patriot Guard Riders ringed the perimeter of the event standing guard with American flags.  The Lewis and Clark Young Marines stood guard with the state flags.
Special recognition was given to CPT Chris Stover who was killed in a helicopter crash in England in January.  He was from Vancouver and died at 28 years old.  Along with all the mention of Chris throughout the ceremony, Chris' parents participated in the release of 51 white doves in honor of all those who have died and one in particular in honor of him.

 The 1st Oregon was part of the Soldiers' Bivouac as well as re-enactors from other wars.

 The Civil War reenactors are always the ones that I have the most fun photographing.

The Washington National Guard did cannon salutes for each service during the ceremony with their modern day cannons.  But the 1st Oregon reenactors let them fire off the Civil War cannon as well after the ceremony.
A very moving ceremony.  Tom is getting set to deploy soon.  I don't know where and I don't know when.  Only that he is as he can't tell us.  But with him moving into the ranks of those going to war--I say a prayer each day to keep him and the rest of the men and women in our military safe and bring them home.

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