This was the perfect answer!

I wasn't sure if "meta" was something that would be recognized in the keymap files, but it worked like a charm.

Rather than edit the file by hand, it was easer to do-

sed 's/lalt/meta/g' us.iso.kbd > local.kbd

Gotta utilize those UNIX tools!

Thanks a lot
I would like to map my "alt" keys to be "meta" keys.  Is there any
reason why I shouldn't do that?  Is there a better/different
solution?  Using ESC just doesn't cut it...
Copy the file /usr/share/syscons/keymaps/us.iso.kbd to a different
name, like /usr/share/syscons/keymaps/local.kbd.  Then open local.kbd
with an editor and replace all instances of `lalt' with `meta'
(without quotes).  This will make the left ALT key work as META.  Load
the new keymap with:

	# kbdcontrol -l local.kbd

To make "local.kbd" the default keymap at boot time, set
keymap="local" in your /etc/rc.conf file.

You can also map the right ALT key to META if you change `ralt' to
`meta', but I don't suggest switching both left and right ALT keys to
META since that would make switching consoles a bit difficult.

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