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 sounds 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 interruped lives.
I thought about a graveyard at the
bottom of the sea,

Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, Freedom is not Free.