Friday, May 27, 2005

Freedom isn't free

As we head into Memorial Day weekend, Comic Art Friday pauses to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of the rest of us.
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 wondered 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,
Taps had meant "amen."
When a flag had covered 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.

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

-- Kelly Strong, LCdr, U.S. Coast Guard
The powerful battle scenes above were penciled by comics artists Michael Jason Paz (Wonder Woman) and Geof Isherwood (Captain America).

Have a safe and thoughtful Memorial Day weekend.

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