Freedom is not Free

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 26, 2004

“Get High on Life” – Harold Keller

This Friday, May 28th, at 7:30 a.m., at the LaPlace Holiday Inn, Get High on Life will host its fifth annual Memorial Day Breakfast.

Last year, over 160 people attended and paid tribute to the men and women who served their country in the different wars and especially remember those who gave their lives to defend the freedoms we enjoy.

The public is invited and a special appeal to all VFW and American Legion members and their families to make plans to attend.

If you are interested, please call Get High on Life at 652-8477.

Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but Memorial Day means more to me than just a holiday and a long weekend.

Freedom is not free and can best be explained in the following poem written by Cadet Major Kelly strong, Air Force Junior ROTC, Homestead Senior High School, and Homestead, Florida 1988:


I watched the flag pass by one day.

It fluttered in the freeze.

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 soldier’s 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 all 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 is not free.

HAROLD KELLER writes this column as part of his affiliation with the Get High on Life religious motivational organization. Call 652-8477 or write to P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084.