Veterans Say "Freedom Isn't Free"
COLUMBIA - The rain did not lower the spirits of the MU ROTC members honoring Veteran's Day Sunday. The parade was cancelled, but the ceremony continued in the MU School of Nursing building. Lieutenant General Marc E. Rogers, an MU graduate, spoke to community members, parents, and ROTC members.
"On the surface, it seems simple - freedom isn't free," he said. He went on to explain the complexity of the idea and how much it actually costs.
Sergeant Derek Bishop was in the audience, who has gone on three tours in Iraq with the Marine Corps. From his tours, he has seen how freedom is not universal.
"You're right there helping people...you get to appreciate what we have," he said.
Lt. Gen. Rogers and his family moved over 20 times in his 35 years of service. He said veterans and their families pay the cost, with the moving and difficult situations.
"Some veterans pay the ultimate cost," he said.
Both Lt. Gen. Rogers and Sgt. Bishop both agreed the benefits outweighed the costs. Lt. Gen Rogers spoke of the amazing people and cultures he experienced around the world. Both noted the "camaraderie."
"Serving with my brothers and sisters, I've made the best friends anyone can have," said Sgt. Bishop.
Sgt. Bishop said he's learned to appreciate the freedom he does have, and says to remember Veterans even when doing the little things.
"When you get a coffee at Starbucks, a soldier fought for that freedom," he said.
November 11 nationally recognized as "Veteran's Day," but because the holiday fell on a Sunday this year, the federal holiday will be Monday.
The photo at the end of the sroy is from the Korean War Memorial. Credit: Waikiki Natatorium