Agoritsa Barczak, a mother of three from a Chicago suburb, pointed to pictures of fallen soldiers in Middle East wars and reminded her children that the privileges and freedom they were born in to come at a dear price.
“I remind them every day how lucky they are,” she told The Epoch Times on Memorial Day. “A lot of soldiers fought for this … everything that we consider ourselves lucky to have here.”
Agoritsa and her husband, Drew Barczak, took their kids to see the Wall of Honor, which is dedicated to soldiers killed in action amid Middle East conflicts, at Oswego city hall, just southwest of Chicago. The exhibit, which is updated annually, honors about 7,000 soldiers killed in the Gulf War, Afghanistan War, and Iraq War.
This is the first time the tribute has been displayed outside Oregon since it was created by high schooler Alicia Tallman in 2003.
Drew, a police officer who has seen his share of human tragedies, was moved to tears by a display honoring soldiers missing in action in the Middle East.
“When your country calls, they report for duty, they do what’s expected, and unfortunately, some don’t make it back,” he said. “We definitely want to pass on these experiences, so kids understand that freedom just isn’t free.”
Kim Ekker, a veteran who had served in the military in the 1980s, said she brought her 16-year-old son to the wall to pass on her understanding of the significance of Memorial Day.