As we go through the daily motions of our lives during this September 11th, hopefully some of you will either take the time to attend one of the 9/11 remembrances around Michigan or to reflect upon what we have lost as a republic ever since that fateful Monday morning 17 years ago.
I’d like to share with everyone an event that I attended in Armada last Sunday honoring a fallen Navy Seal, CPO Jason Freiwald, which ironically would not have succeeded, were it were not for the persistence of a local Marine Veteran along with a dedicated group of local volunteers from Northern Macomb County.
CPO Freiwald was tragically killed fighting Taliban insurgents during Operation Enduring Freedom while defending two of his own teammates, ironically on September 11, 2008.
Fast-forward 9 years later.
While attending a local fundraiser to raise money for CPO Freiwald’s father to take his Granddaughter to a Daddy-Daughter Dance, Marine Cpl. Dean Smith remembered Freiwald’s name from an earlier Memorial Day event and wanted to do something more for the 10th Anniversary of his passing.
Despite initial resistance from Freiwald’s Parents, Cpl. Smith eventually convinced them of its benefit to those growing up in his hometown by placing a memorial in the local park.. After organizing a dedicated group of local volunteers, pursuing and obtaining assistance and donations from local veterans groups and businesses along with getting local government officials to sign off on the project, they were finally able to move towards creating a more fitting memorial to this fallen Navy Seal.
Last Sunday’s event was not only exceptional due to the amount of what was accomplished in a very short time-frame (I’ve been told it was accomplished in five months), but also by the sizable attendance of Michigan Veterans, Local Residents and Local Dignitaries to honor and acknowledge his sacrifice. It was also announced that there has been a bill introduced in the Michigan Legislature to rename a portion of M-53 in tribute of CPO Jason Freiwald.
Let me leave readers with just a small sample of the support shown as I end this post.
Freedom isn’t free.
Remember that during this September 11th.