Glendale "Bugler" - Freedom is not Free

In observance of Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, and Police Memorial Day, here is the eloquent and moving "Freedom is Not Free". Kelly Strong, who at the time was a JROTC cadet major at Homestead High School in Homestead, Florida, wrote this in 1988.

"Freedom is Not Free"

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 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 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.

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