— By BRIAN SMITH
Jack Beauchamp knows about the cost of freedom.
His son, Navy HM2 Clayton Beauchamp, died last August defending the freedom of Americans after an attack in Afghanistan. The Weatherford High graduate was one of several honored during the Parker County Freedom Celebration Friday outside the county courthouse.
The event was sponsored by the Bush Legacy Republican Women of Weatherford. The event allowed members of the group to honor members of the military, both living and deceased. Flags were placed on the east lawn of the courthouse where they were to remain throughout the day.
Beauchamp said the death of his son has strengthened the resolve of other family members still in the military.
“The family has used the loss of their brother and son as a source of strength,” Beauchamp said. “Our 19-year-old daughter, Cheyenne, has already become a petty officer and his brother, Chris, has done three tours and has already re-enlisted.”
In a recent ceremony in Virginia Beach, Va. Beauchamp was able to honor Clayton and Chris’ military service by pinning medals of theirs on her uniform. She has become a member of the military police, Beauchamp said.
“It’s nice to know they are keeping our son’s memory alive,” Beauchamp said. “He stood and fought for what he believed in. Our son made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us and it’s comforting for us to know there are people out there who still remember.”
In her welcome, BLRWW President Zan Prince said the event took place in remembrance and honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. World War II veteran Chuck Katlic told those present that Parker County is one of the most patriotic counties in the country.
“Without the sacrifices of the brave men and women we are honoring today, we wouldn’t be the country we are today,” Katlic said.
Graham Quisenberry, 415th District Court judge, spoke of the flags that adorned the courthouse lawn and also of liberty, which the nation’s founding fathers held so dear.
“When we pledge allegiance to the flag, we are actually pledging allegiance to liberty,” Quisenberry remarked. “(More than) One million people have died protecting the concept of liberty. It goes without saying how important it is for all of us to protect the concept.”