We live in a country like no other in the world, a country whose foundation is freedom. Freedom to live, work, serve and travel anywhere in the country; freedom to practice your faith; freedom to participate, or not; freedom to make a difference for others; freedom to vote in our democratic society. Many people take freedom for granted and think it is free. The truth is that freedom is an oxymoron because there most certainly is a cost to our freedom.
Freedom comes with responsibility and accountability. We, as a nation have the responsibility to maintain our way of life, defend our borders and interests, and ensure that all is available to our children and grandchildren. The cost is in both dollars and participation. The truth is that a minority of us actively participate in defending our free way of life while the majority enjoys these freedoms. This is okay, however, that majority must recognize the service and sacrifice of others, supporting the defenders of our nation, and giving the proper respect. Being a hard worker or an executive of a company in our capitalistic society helps maintain or way of life. But we always have the responsibility to abide by or laws and be accountable for our actions.
All of us here today, as well as our classmates of the 27th Company who were not able to join us, know well the cost of freedom. Men and women who serve in the armed forces of the U.S. help our nation pay for freedom by laying it on the line potentially every day, sometimes with a huge personal sacrifice. We of the 27th Company are past that personal service today, but some have children currently active in the armed forces. We all are grateful for those who help this nation pay for its freedom.
I hope that throughout this weekend we have shown our honored guests the gratitude we have for the personal sacrifices they have made, and that we have made a difference in their lives for at least a little while. Our memories of a weekend spent with new friends will last a lifetime. Thank you for joining us as our guests, and thank you for helping us cheer Navy on to BEAT ARMY!!
— Ron Stowell