The Price Paid for Freedom

Published 7:58 am Saturday, June 3, 2017

Editorial by Bobby Tingle


Reverend Ray McDowell, lead pastor at First Church of the Nazarene, conducted an emotional Memorial Day program on the grounds of the church Sunday evening. McDowell introduced Orange County 163rd District Judge Dennis Powell who inspired visitors with his keynote address. Powell applauded those attending who have lost loved ones in past conflicts for their sacrifice. He also recognized many attending who serve or have served in the military.

The Community Band of South East Texas played patriotic music and led those attending in singing God Bless America with McDowell’s help. The South East Texas Color Guard presented flags from all branches of military service while the band played each branches anthem.

As McDowell read a list of soldiers who gave their life defending and protecting our freedom, he paused, a bell was rung and there was a moment of silence. Family members of many of the deceased were attending. The tribute was capped by a twenty-one gun salute.

The sky was mostly blue, the sun was mostly bright, and the weather was warm but not too warm. The chairs were comfortable and the church served hot dogs and apple pie during a refreshment and social hour after the celebration.

An American hero attended the ceremony. McDowell introduced him, but I did not get his name. He is a veteran of World War II who was a prisoner of war for one year and was subjected to a 90-day death march by his captors. He was awarded the Legion of Honor from France, their highest order of merit for military our civil merits.

There were also family members of soldiers who did not survive their tour of duty.

I have taken the freedom we have in this country for granted.

I appreciate McDowell and First Church of the Nazarene for their efforts in bringing this tribute to our community. They have a very nice memorial set up on their grounds for the public to view. The church and permanent memorial are located at 3810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Orange.

I urge you to stop and reflect on the price paid for the freedom we enjoy.


Bobby Tingle is publisher of The Orange Leader. You can reach him at