November 15th was a solemn day in the Statehouse. State representatives and senators met in the House chamber to honor some of Ohio’s bravest men and women who gave their lives fighting for our country.

This year marked the third annual Ohio Military Medal of Distinction ceremony, an event that commemorates the sacrifice of military members from across the state. The families of 28 service members—representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard—were recognized before the General Assembly and accepted the Medal of Distinction on their behalf.

Sadly, our area lost one of its own in 2011. Navy Chief Petty Officer Raymond J. Border, of West Lafayette, died in October of last year while serving in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. The news of his death brought home the magnitude of war and the sacrifice that comes with it. The Military Medal of Distinction is but a small token compared to his service to the United States, but it serves as a symbol of our appreciation and respect for his selflessness.

The November 15th ceremony in the state capitol was a reminder of the great costs associated with freedom. Although it is tragic to see just how many families received the honor for their fallen loved ones, I hope the event was able to provide them with a feeling of unity to know that they are not the only ones going through such a difficult time.

At times, it seems today’s culture is quick to idolize people based on their perceived fame or stardom. Sometimes they garner the spotlight with behavior that is destructive or even immoral. These are not the individuals we want our children to emulate or admire. True heroes are not born on television. Often, we are surrounded by them and do not even know it. Twenty-eight of them, including Chief Petty Officer Raymond Border, were commemorated last month in the House chamber.

This Christmas season, I encourage you to take time to remember our fallen men and women who make our freedom possible.


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