Freedom is not Free!

Published 11:04 am Thursday, May 28, 2015

Tomorrow, many of us will be spending time with family, heading to the beach, attending a BBQ or just enjoying a well needed day off. Unfortunately, this day did not come without cost. Additionally many of us will also be mourning the loss of family members that died while protecting each and every one of us.

Memorial Day, not to be confused with Veterans Day (also an important holiday), is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering  the men and women who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. Over the years tens of thousands of service men and women gave of their life for a cause not of their own.

So while you are enjoying your day tomorrow, please take a short pause and think about those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for us to be able to do so. This poem is a Memorial Day favorite of mine and I wanted to share today. It’s called “Freedom is not Free” and was written by Kelly Strong.

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I watched the flag pass by one day.

It fluttered in the breeze.

A young Marine saluted it,

and then he stood at ease.

I looked at him in uniform

So young, so tall, so proud,

He’d stand out in any crowd.

I thought how many men like him

Had fallen through the years.

How many died on foreign soil?

How many mothers’ tears?

How many pilots’ planes shot down?

How many died at sea?

How many foxholes were soldiers’ graves?

No, freedom isn’t free.

I heard the sound of TAPS one night,

When everything was still

I listened to the bugler play

And felt a sudden chill.

I wondered just how many times

That TAPS had meant “Amen,”

When a flag had draped a coffin

Of a brother or a friend.

I thought of all the children,

Of the mothers and the wives,

Of fathers, sons and husbands

With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard

At the bottom of the sea

Of unmarked graves in Arlington.

No, freedom isn’t free.