Cost of Freedom, 2015

Like so many family-oriented, close-knit communities, the three communities are proudly patriotic. Twinsburg is the perfect locale for hosting an event honoring our veterans and safety service.  In September 2012, a postcard was delivered to the Twinsburg Historical Society from a company in Texas promoting the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall. The letter was passed along to Commander Joe Jasany of VFW Post 4929 who immediately broached the idea of bringing the tribute to his fellow members of the 4929. In December of 2012, the Texas Company provided info, including cost of the exhibit, to Commander Joe. The cost for bringing the wall to Twinsburg was $16,000, an amount Post 4929 wasn’t even close to possessing, so he went in front of the council to ask for funding. Twinsburg City Council with nary a second of hesitation agreed to donate $5,000. In quick succession the Township and Reminderville gave $6,000 and $5,000 respectively, effectively paying for the wall.

There was still a great deal of funding needed for security, construction of a replica Vietnam village, and a variety of other expenses. The Cost of Freedom Fundraising Committee held approximately 15 fundraising events to raise the funds needed to hold the event. In fact so much money was raised ($88,000 overall) a surplus was accrued and given to veterans in need.

From July 1-5, 2015, Twinsburg’s VFW Post 4929 presented the Cost of Freedom Tribute event. “The Cost of Freedom Tribute is a one of a kind outdoor tribute depicting honor, respect and remembrance of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country” ( courtesy of City of Twinsburg web site). The event featured much more than just the tribute wall. There were exhibits from every era, including a 9/11 exhibit built entirely by a retired firefighter from Macedonia.

Somewhere in the vicinity of 16,000 to 20,000 patrons visited the wall during the holiday weekend it was displayed in Twinsburg. It was open twenty-four hours a day with clergy stationed in a comfort tent the entire duration of the event. The majority of veterans visited the tribute in the cover of the darkest and most desolate hours of the evening and morning. The experience was too emotional and personal for them to share with the public. A couple of videos were produced to commemorate the event; one produced by Cable 9, the other created by a local high school student.

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