Remembering heroes during the holidays
December 16, 2011
Maj. Dale Terrill stopped to meditate as he laid a wreath in honor of service members who will no longer spend the holidays with their families and loved ones.
"The price of freedom isn't actually free. These Soldiers who have gone before us and protected us have sacrificed a lot even though they didn't have to," said Terrill, commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard). "Giving your all when you have little to gain is a special kind of sacrifice."
Terrill was amongst thousands of volunteers who participated in Wreaths Across America Day, Dec. 10, in Arlington National Cemetery, Va., honoring the many service members who never made it home. Volunteers arrived early in the morning, adorning each gravesite with a wreath.
"I am so thankful for a nation that supports freedom defenders and veterans the way we do," said Terrill.
Participating had special meaning for Terrill who recalled his own experiences during his two deployments to Iraq and the impact of losing Soldiers in his battalion.
"The most difficult part is the fight against letting the emotions of anger, fear, frustration or guilt change you or your Soldiers. We had to maintain a balance within ourselves in order to continue to go out and keep doing the mission," he said.
With less than 1 percent of Americans serving in the military, it is these individuals and their daily sacrifices that give us our freedom.
Pointing to a grave site, Terrill said the nation must never forget the sole reason for the freedom we have in this country lies underneath our feet.