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By Kelly Strong || Poem Categories

Freedom Isn't Freecountry as flag
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 foxholes were there
That served as 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!

By Kelly Strong
Copyright 1981

"For background... I wrote it as a high school senior in 1981 as an assignment for my JROTC class. I have
since completed a 24 career in the Coast Guard and am now a Captain at a major airline."
Kelly Strong

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