The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Scene

July 3, 2013

A Poem: "Freedom Isn’t Free"

PALESTINE — 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, sister 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.

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