Paying tribute for the ultimate sacrifice

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Freedom comes with a price.

On Monday, more than 200 veterans, families and friends turned out at the Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery to give heartfelt thanks to generations of Americans who paid the ultimate price for their freedom.

The Memorial Day ceremony is the first held in the new veterans’ cemetery, open less than a year at the intersection of Lake Prince and Milner’s roads.

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Retired Maj. Gen. Aaron Lilly, president of Smithfield’s VFW Post and the ceremony’s guest speaker, told the crowd that veterans of past generations paved the way for the freedom the country enjoys today.

&uot;May the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice live forever in our memories,&uot; said Lilly.

&uot;Because of them, we are gathered here without fear of action being taken against us or our families.&uot;

Many young people today don’t understand the tie linking military service and freedom, Lilly said.

&uot;They take freedom for granted,&uot; he said. &uot;They have forgotten there is no such thing as a free lunch…and that freedom is a banquet we all enjoy.&uot;

Lilly urged listeners to salute the military’s contributions to their daily lives on a regular basis.

&uot;When you see a flag flying, I challenge each of you to take a moment and think about the individuals who paid the price to keep that flag overhead,&uot; he said. &uot;That moment of reflection will give you a tingle of freedom and make every day a Memorial Day.&uot;

Del S. Chris Jones, R-Suffolk, was the guest speaker in a second Memorial Day ceremony in Cedar Hill Ceremony on Monday. That event was sponsored by the American Legion.