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By YMSgt Tyler Smith Tustin CA BOOM BANGRRHHHEEERR The sounds of cannons and rifles going off and planes overhead were heard on Memorial Day 2015. On Memorial Day my unit and I had gone to Fairhaven Memorial Park in Santa Ana California. We were there to help ourselves and our community remember the heroes who died for this country. We were then given a task to do during the ceremony which was to pick up a state flag with the Boy Scouts and Navy Sea Cadets and walk with it during the ceremony. Once the ceremony had started our Senior Young Marine stepped on stage and led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance. Later during the ceremo- ny we raised our flags and walked around the stage. Then came the Taps bugle airplanes flew by overhead doves were released and that is when I realized that Memorial Day is more than just a holiday or a day out of school it serves to remem- ber those that who had the courage to stand up and put their lives at risk so that we are able to live in freedom. In that moment I learned freedom is something that doesnt come free. I Learned Freedom is Something That Doesnt Come Free By YMSgt Zahrian Minner Oregon Cascade OR During Memorial Day weekend 2015 I had the opportuni- ty to participate in a dedication ceremony. The United States flag was respectfully raised in a two-team ceremony that included our Young Marines Color Guard. All six of us Young Marines were dressed in our Service Alpha uniforms with four participating in the color guard and two senior ranking Young Marines raising the flag while the National Anthem played. As a part of the ceremony men removed their hats and those in uniform paid their respects with hand salutes. It was probably one of the most humbling experiences I have ever had the chance to participate in. We were surrounded by approximately one hundred vet- erans and their loved ones at the Veterans Memorial Park in Columbia City Oregon. The ceremony included listening to others share the same respect I have for the men and women who have served our country. It was an outstanding special experience. I was surprised by how many came up to us after the ceremony and thanked us for our participation when I felt that in reality it was us who should be thanking them. We talked to some who have served and heard many sto- ries of how they would do anything to be able to serve our country again. Meeting these men and women spoke to the passion I have for the military and increased my immense appreciation for their efforts to make this country a better place. Memorial Day An Outstanding Special Experience Oregon Cascade Young Marines were honored to participate in a Memorial Day dedication ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Park in Columbia City OR. Tustin Young Marines standing proud alongside active duty servicemen at Memorial day ceremonies in Santa Ana CA. Page 20 ESPRIT