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Text Illustrations
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!!


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