Bob Mitchell: ‘Freedom Isn’t Free’ by any thinking

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

It appears on T-shirts, caps, pins and jackets.

Some folks use the saying in many ways, but the words, however spoken, written or displayed, mean just one thing. The only interpretation of ‘Freedom Isn’t Free’ can only be that costly expenses have been incurred by people since the framers of our U.S. Constitution did their thing back in 1776, the results of which gave America our Independence, which will be observed on July 4, Independence Day.

History tells us most of the signers suffered hardships, lost their fortunes, lost family members and some even their lives as a result of their participation.

Nothing has really changed much since those early days, pain and suffering in defense of the beloved freedoms we continue enjoy, however restrained they might be, is still much in evidence.

An appropriate reminder

Almost by accident, this past Memorial Day produced a stark reminder of the generations past, and the sacrifices that have been made. From former Barry County residents, Leon and Mary Pryor, now of Marshfield, came a large poster they had produced for the past holiday to be exhibited at Sparks Cemetery. They presented me with a hard copy of the names of Barry County men who made the supreme sacrifice in World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

For this year’s Independence Day, I’m sharing the names they had listed:

From World War I

Walford Anderson, Boyd Browning, Charles Bruton, Nellow Burkett, Murrell Cook, Fred C. Cooper, Lawrence Courdin, Green Easley, Walter Fehring, Clyde A. Gibson, Robert Hardwick, Orlando Hickman, Russell Hobbs, Hal Irwin, Edmond Lautaret, Clint Leason, Guy Lewis, Charles B. McClellen, Riley Phillips, Gilbert Planchon, Charles T. Roby, Lesley Shannon and Charles Weathers. Note: Easley and Irwin have the honor of having the Cassville American Legion Post named in their memory.

From World War II

Billy I. Barnett, Verne E. Braden, Hugh S. Brixey, Jr., Henry G. Camp, Lloyd C. Collins, Lewis K. Davis, Howard Dodson, Loyd H. Edgmond, Lee Essary, Carl H. Ford, Clyde F. Gautney, David L. Gautney, Johnnie O. Graves, Henry G. Henbest, Eugene L. Hilton, Alvin D. Holder, Lewis W. Hubbard, William R. Jinks, Carl E. Jung, Gerald D. Knott, Hildried F. Lee, Alvin C. Lowery, Albert C. Marbut, William M. May, Rex H. McMillen, Charley J. Mitchell, Rolla S. Mullins, Harold J. Neiner, Earl A. Nixon, Homer A. Norwood, Carl M. Opalka, Hershal W. Patton, Roy E. Planchon, Edgar G. Probstfield, Lawrence J. Roetto, Alfonse Schembrl, Loren O. Shepherd, Phillip R. Tash, Rex E.Talburt and Lester R. Tash.

From Korean War

Kellis B. Baker, Richard D. Coker, John Higgins, Ralph N. Ozbun, Charles C. Thomas and Jessie Towe, Jr.

From Vietnam War

James V. Ballay, Glen C. Brown, Carl L. Bruton, William R. Edmondson, Johnny E. Frisk, Aaron H. Lowe, Timmy G. Mattingly, Howard A. Threet and Thomas H. Wolfe.

Source is unknown

Pryor’s source for this information wasn’t announced at the time he first displayed the information, nor was it at the time of making this presentation. For whatever errors that might occur please accept an apology.

The list is published on this special holiday in remembrance of these supreme sacrifices and how they fit into the picture of how our freedoms have been made available and continued over the decades.

Thoughts go with families

In this upcoming holiday, it would be appropriate if you were acquainted with the family of these honored Americans to pass along a remembrance of your condolence and expression of thanks for their service and sacrifice toward the way of life we still enjoy in these United States of America.

For the past 242 years, this country has survived wars and Constitutional problems and could possibly be in such a situation this very day. But, the rule of law provided by that document so many years ago, will, under a determined citizenry, ensure that these 50 United States of America will continue those freedoms intended by the framers of our country’s constitution.

Future of document

Mainly due to the size of Pryor’s document, my plan is to provide it to the Barry County Museum where it can be displayed in whatever manner the museum officials determine. So, if you wish to see the list displayed in its entirety, contact the museum to make sure it is on display.

The credit must go entirely to the Pryors who researched the information and took to the time and expense to make the copies, on permanent material, available to this area.

Have a good holiday

Keeping the main reason for Independence Day in mind, make next week’s July 4 an enjoyable family affair. Above all, make it a safe event whatever your activity might be during the observance.

If you have no other plans, stay close to home and enjoy the holiday activities of the Barry County Ozarks, there is nothing better that I can think of in these days.

Happy Independence Day, and let’s try to keep it this way!

Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat. He is a 2017 inductee to both the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame and Missouri Southern State University’s Regional Media Hall of Fame.