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Freedom Is Not Free
I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Airman 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 stood 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 fox holes were soldiers graves?
No freedom is not free.
I heard Taps sound one night,
When everything was still.
I listened to the bugle play,
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times,
Taps had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had covered a coffin,
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children
Of the mothers and the wives.
Of the fathers, sons, and husbands,
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard,
At the bottom of the sea,
Of unmarked graves at Arlington.
No, Freedom Is Not Free!
- LCDR Kelly Strong, USCG
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