Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day - May 25, 2009 - THANK YOU

A veteran - whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve - is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America", for an amount of "up to and including my life." That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it. "Author Unknown"

My family has a long history with the US Military.

My mother's dad was a "doughboy" in World War I; my uncle (Mom's brother) was a pilot and killed (stateside) during World War II. My father was first in the Navy during Korea and a Marine killed in action in Vietnam in 1967, my mother served in the US Army and my life partner served in Vietnam with the US Navy.

I think I can say, with honesty that I understand some of the sacrifices made by the men and women who serve, and their families.

I do not always agree with the choices made by our government regarding the conflicts in which they decide to involve our service men and women, but I always support our veterans and the sacrifices they make to serve our country.

This country was built upon the blood of people just like them, who made the choice to offer up their lives in its defense and anyone who forgets that is just stupid.

We live in a free country, but we too often forget that freedom isn't free; it is paid for with the blood of our brothers and sisters, our fathers and mothers.

This Memorial Day we need to try to remember that.

My thanks, to all of you, for all the sacrifices that you have made.

Kelly Strong, the author of the poem below, has graciously given me permission to include it in this blog.


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 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 isn't free!!

Copyright 1981 by Kelly Strong (

1 comment:

Sid said...

I will be remembering Captains F.D. Bynum, and A. Nations, both of who were KIA in Vietnam.

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