Memorial Day

Freedom Is Not Free

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.

– Kelly Strong

Many of the men in my family have been military men. My father was Navy, as were two of his brothers, his father was Air Force as well as an Uncle I believe… even my cousin served in the Army – Ranger division. My ex father-in-law, whom I loved as my own until the day he died, was a Command Sargent Major – Retired, 20 Years – Army… He served in all three of the “big wars” of is time – WWII as a soldier in the trenches, Korea as a medic, and Vietnam in logistics and planning in Saigon. He came out of the Army and served the good citizens of Hendersonville, North Carolina for another 50 years of his long and wonderful life.

This post is not just about him, but the men like him… who put their lives, and the livelihood of their own families on the line every day – so that we can be free to live our lives the way we do. I admire the ability of military wives to put aside their desperate fears and deepest desires to say good-bye to their spouse. To allow them to leave the safety and harmony of home and head off to the unknown of war. It is a fine and precious thing they do, sacrificing time with their loved ones for the greater good of the country.

The poem says it all – really not much more to say – other than thank you…

From the bottom of my heart to each and every service person – in each and every branch of the military, Thank You for your service, your sacrifice, and your commitment to this country… And to the wives, children, parents, and loved ones of all those in service – thank you for the sacrifices you make to help preserve our freedom.

That’s it for now  – maybe more later (like a Monday Minute)!

Happy Memorial Day all!


3 thoughts on “Memorial Day

  1. What an amazing poem! Thanks for sharing it and the special service people you have known. Stopping from SITS!

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