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Monday… Memorial Day — a time chosen to remember those who have served this country, preserving our liberty. In Wichita, Kansas, behind a wrought-iron fence, set in almost park-like grounds, stands a VA hospital. I had entered it many times visiting my mom before I noticed the words above the doorframe. “Through these doors, the price of freedom can be seen.”

As I walked the corridors there were WWII veterans: old, wrinkled, some barely clinging to life with various ailments and diseases.

I have seen the price of Freedom.

With blank eyes as if seeing ghosts from a time before, the Korean War veterans from the forgotten war, my Dad’s war, sat in wheelchairs, clutching arms, hands, or heads, and moaning, still feeling the pain after decades.

I have seen the price of Freedom.

Those who served in Vietnam were there, some with limbs missing, bodies jerking from neurological injuries, a few wasting away because of exposure to Agent Orange. They were my age, for this was my generation’s war. They honored their country by their service, but their country didn’t seem to care. We owe them an apology and our gratitude for their devotion to Duty, Honor, Country.

I have seen the price of Freedom.

Today, through those doors, the men and women of Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom are being treated, taught to use prosthetics, having skin grafted over wounds, shown how to live daily with scars and shattered bodies.

I have seen the price of Freedom.

I have seen the white headstones at Arlington. I have heard taps. I have watched the rifles raised to the shoulders — I’ve heard the report of the weapons. I’ve seen the moms and dads, wives and children stand as grief overwhelms them. I’ve seen them clutch that carefully folded flag to their chests as if to say, “You’ll not take this away.”

I have seen the price of MY freedom, and his name is Jesus

I have seen the price of Freedom.

Now, as we all struggle with a world on the edge of insanity, desperately looking for hope… Here, too I have seen the price of Freedom.

I was not an eyewitness, but through Scripture, I have stood on the mount. I have smelled the stench of sweat, feces, and death. I have touched the blood. I have heard the labored request for forgiveness, and I have seen and heard the death rattle as the words “it is finished” escaped His lips.

I have seen the price of Freedom every time I read “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

I have seen the price of MY freedom… and his name is Jesus.