Remembering the Price of Freedom

One by one, fallen soldiers from Lauderdale County were honored as their names were read aloud at the Veterans Monument in front of the Lauderdale County Courthouse.

As family members laid gifts of rememberance, the clergy offered up prayers. "Almighty God, we commit our time to you in our time of need."

In honor of the day people from all backgrounds and soldiers from all eras gathered with a common goal, to honor those who paid the ultimate price.

"I had a husband who did 22 years in service," said Annie L. Hodges.
"We want them to know, that they didn't die in vain. That they were trying to protect our country and keep our freedom."

"Sadly, the unprovoked terrorist attack on America on Sept. 11, 2001, was a reminder how we must never take our bountiful blessings or freedom for granted," said guest speaker, Capt. Mark Needler of NAS Meridian.

A lesson which many in attendance say they learned the hard way.

"My first husband was Norman B. Mays and he was killed in action over France in World War II," said Leila Heindal. "He was a pilot. We had just been married about a month when he left."

For Heindal, her husband was one of many. "They made sacrifices for us, not for themselves. They paid a big price and we should take that day and commemorate and remember how many people would like to be able to remember," Heindal said.

"As Adlai Stevenson, the former Illinois governor and presidential hopeful once said, 'Men who offer their lives for their country know that patriotism is not the fear of something. It is the love of something'," said Joseph Lemoine of the Lauderdale County Veterans Service Office.

For us, that can't be measured in value because it's priceless. It's freedom.