Freedom Isn’t Free

The Lord be with you

Like many in my generation, my father was in WWII. He was a Marine. I was blessed that he came home with life and limb in tack. One of my brothers, and I, served in the Army. We both came home with life and limblone marine in tack. My son, and his wife, both served in the Army Reserve, stationed in the Middle East. Again, God was good to us and they are home with life and limb in tack. As we approach the celebration of our Independence Day, I can’t help but remember that not every family has been so blessed.

Jerry Kieschnick, former president of the LC-MS, recently sent out an e-mail with a poem by an unknown author that reminds us of the cost for freedom that many have paid. I share it with you now.

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 a 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.
I thought about a graveyard at the bottom of the sea;
Of unmarked graves in Arlington. No, freedom isn’t free!