On May 25, my wife and I were driving through Astoria. Near the post office I was greeted by a scene of why this country is worth the sacrifices of the men and woman who serve in the military ("It's time to raise our voices about Iraq," The Daily Astorian, May 31).

If I stopped here, you might assume that I was referring only to the first group of citizens waving flags on the small traffic island. You would only be half right. I'm also speaking of the other group of citizens beside the post office.

I'm not sure of the numbers, but there are a number of men and woman in this area who have served our country in places we see on the news or read about in history books. If not for their sacrifices, sometimes the ultimate sacrifice, we could not experience the freedom both groups enjoy. We are truly blessed to not only have the freedoms we have, but to have those whom will step forward and say, "not on my watch."

I have political views that may clash with others around me, but that's what this nation is all about. It comes with a price, too. There's a simple saying that's been worn out by now but is right on the money: "Freedom is not free." The two different groups may be separated by a city street, but you're united in more ways than you may know. Thanks to both of you, and keep it up.

I would ask everyone who reads this to please remember the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who are laying it all on the line so we can all go about our normal everyday lives, and choose to stand on whatever side of the street we want.