Freedom isn’t Free by Kait Carson

Uncle Karl (1922-1942) and my grandparents

Today is Memorial Day. I thought it appropriate to offer thanks to those men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country. Among them, my Uncle Karl who died in 1942 on the USS Quincy in the Battle for Savo Island, and my brother, his namesake, who died in 2021. His death attributed to his service in Viet Nam.

Memorial Day was a big deal when I was growing up. My town was small, a mile deep and a half mile wide. Each Memorial Day it fielded a parade that wound through the town to Memorial Park. At the Park, the Commander of the local American Legion Post read the names of the fallen, followed by a twenty-one-gun salute, and a wreath presentation ceremony. It was a solemn occasion and a celebration of thanks.

The year I was selected to place the wreath on our veterans’ memorial an old man, wearing the uniform of a United States Marine, stepped out of the crowd. He took my arm and led me to the memorial. Together we placed the wreath at the base of the marble column. I thought he stumbled when he half knelt at the foot of the monument and let his fingers rest on a name. Before I could react with Girl Scout first aid, he stood, turned, snapped to attention, and saluted the flag that flew next to the memorial.

The man was Mr. Treple. He had served proudly in WWI as a Marine and lost his only son,

also a Marine, to WWII. His boy child buried in an unmarked grave somewhere in Europe then still listed as missing in action and presumed dead. Mr. Treple died later that year but his actions on that long-ago Memorial Day are with me still.

Karl T. Hoyle (1943-2021)

Freedom isn’t free. It is bought and paid for by those who made the ultimate sacrifice and by the families who love them.

About kaitcarson

I write mysteries set in South Florida. The Hayden Kent series is set in the Florida Keys. Hayden is a SCUBA diving paralegal who keeps finding bodies. Underwater, no one can hear you scream! Catherine Swope is a Miami Realtor with a penchant for finding bodies in the darndest places. I live in the Crown of Maine with my husband, four cats, and a flock of conures.
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4 Responses to Freedom isn’t Free by Kait Carson

  1. A few years ago, we were in Normandy just before D-Day, and there were tanks and jeeps all over the roads. One morning, in the lobby of our hotel, we met two WW2 veterans in full uniform. It was a very moving experience.


  2. Julianne Spreng says:

    Until the day he died my dad was able to wear his WWll uniform. When he was in his 70s my parents and another couple flew to Europe to visit their son stationed in Germany. While they were there my dad took them on a tour of all the places he’d been during the war. One of them was a concentration camp that had been liberated by other American troops the day before. He spent many years speaking to students about the Holocaust and combating the lies that some were spreading that it was a hoax and hadn’t happened. I was always proud of him and honor my dad, my uncles, and cousins who fought or died for our way of life.

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