“My Freedom Is Not Free” – Memorial Day Reflection from Forge Alumna Hannah Blankenship

This Memorial Day, I wanted to share with you a reflection from one of our Forge Academy alumna Hannah Blankenship.

I hope this serves as a powerful reminder of the cost of freedom and the importance of today.

“May we never forget freedom isn’t free.” –Unknown

Memorial Day. The three-day weekend that for many marks the unofficial start of the summer. It’s the Monday off work that you look forward to enjoying with your friends and family and also most likely the day your local pool opens for business.

As with any holiday in America, the holiday weekend comes with a flurry of commercialism that entices viewers to buy an even bigger TV (so they can watch the Memorial Day parades in wide screen HD of course). Underneath all the flurry of activities though, there lies the reason why we have this holiday: to remember and honor those who died while serving in the U.S. Military.

That’s why this day is so important. To honor those who died by remembering their sacrifice and through their sacrifice we’re able to spend time with our families, friends, and live in freedom. The weight of this struck me when I had the opportunity with my Forge class to view the Changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery. As a civilian I don’t have a lot of ceremony in my daily life – so as I watched the ceremony unfold before me, through the click of the boots, the silent reverence from the viewers on the steps, and the deliberation and dedication of each guard – I was in awe. In awe of the weight of what men and women have sacrificed while serving my country.

A quote on the tomb reads, “Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God.” As I observe this Memorial Day with family and friends I will be doing so knowing that my freedom is not free. It has been bought with a price and it’s to those who paid the ultimate price that all Americans owe their freedom.

Hannah Blankenship is a graduate of the 2019-2029 Forge Academy.

I hope you enjoyed hearing from Hannah about how her experience in Forge impacted her understanding of the meaning of Memorial Day.

May your day be filled with gratitude.


Adam Josefczyk
Forge Leadership Network
Co-Founder & President

Adam is passionate about investing his future in the future of students who will become the next innovators in the marketplace, champions of free enterprise, inspiring educators, shapers of culture, and statesmen and stateswomen in government.

Joseph Backholm is Senior Fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement at Family Research Council. He combines extensive legal, political, and policy experience with a love for the way biblical truth cultivates human flourishing.