Memorial Day

Freedom Is Not Free
By: Kelly Strong

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 it 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 dead at sea
How many foxholes were soldiers’ 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 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 is not Free!

Happy Veterans Day!

“In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day [The 1 year anniversary of the end of World War I] with the following words:

‘To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…’”

In June of 1926, Congress made November 11th an official holiday by saying, “it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations”.

Today is the day we celebrate, thank and encourage those who have stood in the gap and on the wall in our behalf.  May we ever remember those who paid the ultimate price and honor their sacrifice.  But, today, let’s take the time to thank those who have served our country in the armed services.  Let us be grateful to the families who have sacrificed time with their loved ones and waited anxiously for their return.

Thank you to all who have served!  If you know someone who has served our country, I hope you’ll find the time to give them a call today and thank them for their service.  ( I plan to!)  We may never understand the sacrifice that is required that we may have peace.  Freedom isn’t free.

Happy Veteran’s Day!

Source: U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs