Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Freedom Isn't Free Is It?

I attended a Memorial Day service at a local graveyard in Waverly, AL today….where the names of all the fallen were read….and the children placed flags on each and every grave. It was very emotional time for me. My husband read a poem called “Freedom isn’t Free.” I found the poem so very moving. The only thing missing from this presentation in the cemetery was the playing of Taps. I must say I am glad that was the way it was because there is something about the sound of Taps that literally rips me off the frame. Every time I hear the tune I cannot stop from crying. It is a song that hurts my very soul. I came home from Waverly and began seaching the web to find that poem so I could share it with you in my post today. The poem was written by a student! I hope this young person’s views of freedom touch your heart today….and make you thank every veteran, firefighter, police officer for what they do for us each day and remember that Freedom always comes at a cost.
Freedom Isn’t Free
By Cadet Major Kelly Strong USAF JROTC
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.

For the past 9 days in Riverside, CA, volunteers have been reading the names of all the veterans who are buried in the cemetery there. Nine days….24 hours a day. How awesome is that? People who care enough to give up some time to read names out loud….for men and women who gave up their lives so we could be free….so they won’t be forgotten. I personally would hope that in between your barbeques and picnics that all of us would take a few moments to remember and honor such souls and to give thanks for the freedoms and spiritual gifts which they have afforded us and which we as a people so often take for granted. I want to give my personal thanks to every veteran and enlisted person….right now….for all they have done….and will continue to do. I love my freedom. Thanks for giving me this great gift!

5 comments:

Ms. Marty said...

Karen, That poem is so very touching. I know what it is to be both the child of and the wife of a veteran, even a niece of a veteran and also the sister to one. Patriotism runs through my veins. We will attend a brief ceremony in the morning at the Veteran's Memorial Park in Oakman that was dedicated last Memorial Day. It is a stunning sight to see. It was built under the oversight of the high school, but 95% of the labor was done by veterans. The dedication was well attended and I still marvel at the job those men pulled together. Taps is also a soul stirring for me, but when I hear it, I just thank God above that we had men and women willing to give up the ultimate for us.

Have a wonderful day.

Congratulations on surviving another year in school.

Jen said...

What a beautiful poem. Thank you so much for sharing.

Just stopped by from SITS to welcome you.

Belle's Blog said...

Beautiful post! Happy Memorial Day!

Anissa said...

What a beautiful poem! Loved reading your post today! TFS

Hope you have a blessed Memorial Day!

Queenie Jeannie said...

Loved your posts!!!! Thank YOU for remembering! And no, freedom isn't free.