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Freedom isn't 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,

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.


- "No, Freedom Isn't Free," by CDR Kelly Strong, USCG (Ret.), copyright 1981

On this Memorial Day, I'm thankful for the many heroic soldiers who gave their lives for us to enjoy peace and freedom in America. They paid the ultimate price. But I'm also thankful for Jesus Christ who was willing to suffer and bleed and die on the cross to purchase my peace with God and freedom from sin.

"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).

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