ORANGE PARK – U.S. Rep. Aaron Bean offered a solemn reminder of why the county observes Memorial Day by talking about the thousands of men and women who died establishing and preserving …
ORANGE PARK – U.S. Rep. Aaron Bean offered a solemn reminder of why the county observes Memorial Day by talking about the thousands of men and women who died establishing and preserving freedom.
Bean, whose district includes Clay County, was the guest speaker at the annual ceremony at the Veterans Memorial in Magnolia Cemetery. He joined the Orange Park Navy JROTC and members of the Orange Park Police and Fire departments to pay respect for the nation’s fallen soldiers.
He started by telling a story about being one of nine children. He said with so many in the family, and they couldn’t afford to go to a restaurant for a meal. As a child, he said he didn’t realize a night out comes with a bill.
“I think America can be the same way as a child. Freedom is not free,” he said. “You don’t realize that there’s an actual bill.”
Bean then reminded everyone there’s a bill due to defending the country.
“We see the bill being paid with those flag-draped coffins at Dover (Delaware) Air Force Base,” Bean said. “Not only do we see the bill, we see how incredibly expensive that freedom truly is. So today, we honor all of those who have paid that freedom bill.”
The observance also included placing a wreath at the veterans’ marker and playing TAPS.