Freedom Is Not Free

I watched the flag pass by one day,
It fluttered in the breeze.

A young man in uniform saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.

I looked at him in uniform - - so
Young, so tall, so proud.

With hair cut square and eyes
Alert, he'd stand out in a crowd.

I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.

How many had died on foreign soil?
How many mother's tears?

How many pilot's planes shot down?
How many died at sea?

How many foxholes were soldier's graves?
No, freedom is not 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 mothers and the wives

Of fathers, sons and husbands,
With interrupted lives.

I thought about a grave yard
At the bottom of the sea.

Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom is not free.

Major Kelly Strong
08 November 2002

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