'Cost of Freedom Tribute' honors those who sacrificed - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

'Cost of Freedom Tribute' honors those who sacrificed

A vet touches the name of a fallen soldier on the wall. (Source: WOIO) A vet touches the name of a fallen soldier on the wall. (Source: WOIO)
The emotional tribute is free to the public and runs all holiday weekend. (Source: WOIO) The emotional tribute is free to the public and runs all holiday weekend. (Source: WOIO)
TWINSBURG, OH (WOIO) -

While many of us celebrate the Fourth of July with fireworks and time by the lake, it means much more to those who have served our country. An emotional tribute featured in Twinsburg this weekend offers a way to teach your family about what our freedom cost.

Vietnam vet Dewey Rotruck found the names of two lifelong friends on the wall replica. All these years later, he says it doesn't get any easier.

"It hurts and you wonder why you're here and they're not. That's the way it is. You live with that every day," said Rotruck, an Army veteran from West Virginia. 

It is gut wrenching to watch family and friends etching the names of those lost. 

Joe Josany, commander of the Twinsburg VFW, and dozens more worked two and a half years to bring the "Cost of Freedom Tribute" to Twinsburg. The wall is 360 feet long and 80 percent the size of the permanent Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. It is no less awe-inspiring.

"58,271 names is going to touch the hearts of anyone," said Josany.

The exhibit includes a complete military history of the United States from World War II to today. It's also a chance for Vietnam vets, who were not always treated well, to receive their due.

"We're encouraging our brothers, other Vietnam vets to come here and get welcomed home," said Josany.

This free event is open to the public July 2-5 and is featured at Twinsburg High School at 10084 Ravenna Road. Other activities and exhibits on site display important historical artifacts. 

The Cleveland Pops Orchestra will play a Patriotic Concert at nearby Twinsburg Amphitheatre in Glen Chamberlin Park on July 3, with fireworks to follow. 

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