Scranton, Lackawanna County - On a day when we celebrate our nation's freedom, a family in Lackawanna County is remembering the cost.
A memorial was dedicated Wednesday morning to Lance Corporal Larry Johnson who lost his life in Afghanistan in February 2010.
Johnson was a 2008 graduate of Scranton High School.
He was just 19-years-old.
His name now joins six others from the region who have given the ultimate sacrifice in defending freedom.
"It doesn't get any easier. I think it gets harder. The more I talk about it through it makes me feel better," Johanna Johnson said. Johanna Johnson is Larry's mother.
With tears in their eyes but love in their hearts, family members remembered the Marine Corps Reservist.
"I figured in time it would go away but it just isn't. Everything they do for us, I just can't say enough to the city of Scranton and throughout the United States," Larry's step-father Jeff Whitney said.
From shirts to flags, Larry Johnson's picture is all around. His memory is still very much alive in the Scranton area.
His step-father even carries around Larry's pet snake.
"I know the Marines made him a man. I know that without a doubt but at 19-years-old, you're still a kid," Whitney said.
On a day when many are focused on cookouts, the Johnson family was focused on freedom and its cost. Freedom their 19-year-old son gave to his family, his city and his nation by laying down his life.
"It's kind of good that these young kids are out there trying to serve their country but it's crazy that we're over there," Johanna Johnson said.
"He'll never be forgotten and I know Larry's looking down on us right now," Whitney said.