“Find the cost of freedom
buried in the ground;
Mother Earth will swallow you;
lay your body down.”
– Crosby, Stills, Nash, “Find the Cost of Freedom”
My Memorial Day, a day off this year, consisted of late-morning basketball and mid-afternoon handball, and it struck me that a good way to spend the time between those recreational pursuits was to honor some of those who helped give me the freedom to play.
So I paid a visit to a couple of cemeteries near Timberhill Athletic Club in west Corvallis. They’re both on Witham Hill, one an Odd Fellows’ graveyard, the other operated by St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
The objective: Pay my respects at veterans’ graves and, if possible, find at least one from as many different wars as possible, photograph them, and share them in the blog.
Here’s what I came up with:
And walking to my truck after handball, I happened to encounter a man about my age wearing a dog tag.
“Did you serve?” I asked.
“No, but my dad did,” he said. “He was a Marine. I’ve worn this since the day he died, when I was 14.”
Both men were named John Griffith, and the elder John served in the early 1960s.
Here’s his dog tag, which the younger John, a Corvallis resident, plans to give to his son someday: