Memorial Day

PFC Brian Lee Holden

January 15, 1987  –  April 9, 2007

Freedom is not free

I watched the flag pass by one day,
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Service man 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.

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

LCDR Kelly Strong, USCG – Copyright 1981


4 responses to “Memorial Day

  1. Thinking of you and Brian and his family today.
    I’m so glad you posted this. Let us never forget.

  2. Such a young life given for me. I am so sorry for the loss to your family but thank you for his service to our country. Happy Memorial Day and thank you for helping me to remember that there really are lives that we need to never take for granted.

  3. (((Applie))) We will not forget.

  4. We will never forget. I am so sorry for your family’s loss. I am so thankful for the men and women that risk their lives for all of us. My prayers got out to the families of those that pay the ultimate price for our country.

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