Freedom Isn't Free

Greater love hath no man than  
this, that a man lay down his  
life for his friends. John 15:13

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,
With hair cut square and eyes alert,
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.

~ © 1981 by CDR Kelly Strong, USCG ~


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I would like to thank the author of this poem,
CDR Kelly Strong, USCG (Ret).
who reminds us all of the price that was paid for the freedom
that we sometimes take for granted.

I thank all of those who gave their lives in defense of our freedom.

And most of all, I thank those who are still in harm's
way today, defending freedom around the world. May God
be with you, and bring you safely home.