These galleries are here as a reminder that Freedom is never free. For every service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice, there is a family, a spouse, parent, child, sibling, or friend who will continue to bear the burden and pain of the loss of their loved one. Not only does the service member sacrifice but the families sacrifice also. These photos represent what America rarely sees, beyond the names that may glide across a tiny portion of a news report. Make no mistake these service men and women lived, loved, and sacrificed, and their families continue to live and bear that sacrifice. Freedom is never free.
"It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country .... The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, brave and gray haired. But most of them were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives -- the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for their country, for us." -- Ronald Reagan