On November 29th, I had the privilege of attending a ceremony that honored many of the brave Ohioans who lost their lives fighting for our country. Since 2009, the Ohio Military Medal of Distinction has been given to men and women from our state who have shown true leadership and courage on the battlefield. While it is sad that they were unable to join us and receive their award in person, the significance of their service will remain with us forever.

The Ohio House and Senate came together in the House chamber for a joint convention to express our appreciation for the fallen heroes. Of course, the list of honorees was too long—far too many lives lost—but it was humbling to see that so many individuals were willing to sacrifice their lives to keep our country safe.

We all must understand just how steep the price of freedom can be. That the ceremony was held just a couple weeks after Veterans Day was appropriate because it served as another reminder to everyone in the chamber that there has been a lot of blood poured and lives lost to make this nation truly exceptional.

If you are a family member or a friend to one of the individuals honored that day, then I extend to you my sympathies and prayers. But I also would like to simply say thank you. Life has not been easy for you, or for anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one in combat. While some of us might occasionally take our military for granted, you have lived each day filled with hope, despair, anxiety, and, in the end, immense sadness. Like House Speaker William Batchelder mentioned in his speech, sacrifices were not only made by those in uniform, but by their families as well.

As we transition into a season that brings happiness and good cheer to so many of us, we should at least take some time to reflect on what makes it all possible. This is a time of year when many of us often throw around words like price and cost. After taking part in the Ohio Military Medal of Distinction ceremony, those words now have a whole new meaning.


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