Freedom Is Not Free by Major Kelly Strong

Freedom Is Not Free
by Major Kelly Strong
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 the crowd.
I thought how many men like him had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mother’s tears?
How many pilots’ planes shot down?
How many died 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 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.