Next to Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Korean War Memorial has to be my favorite memorial in D.C. There is something incredibly compelling about this wall, like the Vietnam Memorial, only instead of names it is etched with the faces of military men and women. Breathtaking in its simplicity.

Korean War Memorial wall

Copyright © 2007 Corey Brown via Flickr, cc Some rights reserved

At its front is the phrase…

Copyright © 2010 D.B. Smyth

I’ll let you decide what that means for you.

For me, it means all things come with a price. Even good things. Even right things. And I wonder at what point the cost becomes too great for the cause. Does it ever?

I don’t know.

But whether or not I agree with the politics of war, I believe that I can honor the men and women who give everything they have to do what they think is right as they defend not just American freedom, but FREEDOM for all people around the world. I love the note written in stone at the base of the memorial.

“Our nation honors her sons and daughters, who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met.”

~Korean War Memorial

I am grateful for these sons and daughters and for their willingness to sacrifice. Perhaps I have so much gratitude because it gives me hope that, if the time ever comes in my life, people like them will answer the call to defend my freedoms, the freedoms of a person they’ve never met.

What price do you pay for freedom? Do you think it’s possible to honor those who serve in the military even if we disagree with war?