It’s All About Fireworks, Right?

iwo_jima_memorialThe web is full of sites which provide recipes for your July 4th picnic, places to go to see fireworks, even sites where you can make your own fireworks display. Is that what today is about? Parades?  Decorations (btw–I will say that if you own a flag, and it has not been ardently displayed since 9/11, it’s time to get it out of storage)?

We are so comfortably numb in our generation.  It has been a long time since Americans have felt the weight of freedom upon their own backs…probably as long ago as WW2.  War is something that happens somewhere else, and we watch it from our recliners while we enjoy Dominos pizza.  Though we see more images of it, profusely and instantly…I don’t think our advancement in technology has advanced our passion for the foundational truths that drive our young men and women to serve us so nobly.

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.

Thought about a graveyard at the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.

No, freedom isn’t free.

~Kelly Strong

To say “thanks” to our soldiers, send an online postcard for free by clicking here.


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