Freedom isn’t free. Not now, never in the past, and never in the future. I grow increasingly weary of an ungrateful vocal minority hogging the media landscape in this time of our nation’s unique war against a faceless and stateless enemy that is already spread throughout the world and within our own borders and institutions. I tire of those who have never fought criticizing the fighter, and the disingenuous politicians with their pompous speeches, speaking of that about which they know nothing. I tire of the irrelevant factions of society — notably those self-aggrandizing parasites in Hollywood — attempting to seem relevant with their diatribes against those who gave them the right to be irrelevant, yet to speak.
How many of these — the ungrateful minority — have done anything but be takers? When have they been givers? For how much longer will the givers outnumber the takers within our society?
Freedom isn’t free and the ungrateful should not take it for granted. Disagreement is one thing, and a good thing, but the debate in America has turned uncivil on almost every front of the national discourse. Statesmanship has departed Washington and is waning in Austin. Civility among neighbors is strained to the breaking point and our leadership is letting/causing it to happen by example. And yet, those within those groups who have the freedom not only to dissent but to do so disagreeably, forget. They forget that freedom isn’t free.
Thank God there are people still, in large but largely silent numbers, who know from whence freedom comes and are willing to fight for it and to support those who do.
Enjoy the video on the Gathering of Eagles website (“American Soldier” by Toby Keith) and this poem which I repeat here lest it one day be lost in cyberspace:
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 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.