In Memoriam

Two year ago today I was catapulted off of the USS Nimitz in an experience that forever changed the way I look at our service men and women. I know I write ridiculous nonsense but today I salute the brave men and women who fought, and who fight, and who gave their lives in the name of something bigger than themselves.

Today I dedicate this post to the people in my family who never returned from the fight, and the people in yours as well.

Freedom Is Not Free ~ by Kelly Strong

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,
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.

54 replies. read them below or add one

  1. Very beautiful. 🙂

    Like

    Phoenix Talon recently posted I Slaughtered a Duckling.

  2. And to think most Americans believe Memorial Day is about honoring the memories of shopping days and barbeques long, long ago…

    Cheers.
    VB

    Like

    Vinobaby recently posted Swimsuit Shopping Part Deux- In the Navy.

  3. My husband is in the Navy and I thank you for this.

    Like

    Elle recently posted Looking for easy peasy real mommyhood recipes for kids.

  4. Very well done – we’re all lucky for the lives we have. Big thanks to all the men and women in their military as well as their families who make huge sacrifices.

    SD

    Like

    Simple Dude recently posted Half Assed Memorial Day Weekend.

  5. Wow. What a beautiful tribute. Thanks so much for posting this Jenny.

    Like

    Melody | Deliberate Receiving recently posted How I Turned My Body from an Enemy Into a Friend.

  6. I also want to thank the family standing on their front lawn, waving with American flags at cars passing by on their way to Quantico National Cemetary. There was no parade; they were simply paying their respects. Notice taken and appreciated.

    Like

    mrtl recently posted Obvious Girl is Obviously Obvious Boys Daughter.

  7. Love this poem. A beautiful and fitting tribute.
    Capt. John L. Dunnavant, my dad.
    WO James M. Dunnavant, my uncle.
    The families they left behind.
    Hoo-rah!

    Like

  8. Proudly weeping now.

    Like

  9. Amen to that. It’s all too often that people, including myself, don’t realise how precious life is.

    RC

    http://rcbenglishclass.blogspot.com/2011/04/bloggess-naughty-satire.html

    Like

  10. I was a hippie girl who lit candles when the war in Iraq started, who married a Marine two years later. My crazy liberal thoughts never mask the gratitude and respect for those who have served us in the past, and who currently serve.

    Like

  11. 11
    Yvonne - paralegal

    Thank you. My son-in-law made it back from Baghdad safely – but not quite right.He lost 8 platoon buddies in that infamous June 2007 firefight. It’s taken him a long time to acclimate to civilain life. everything you hear about teating brain injury to debriefing’, is not true. It took over 2 years for the night terrors to end. and he’s just one family member – my daughter served and so did my son. both are injured. this besides fathers and grandfathers – that’s a given. I’m glad that someone realizes that a wounded coming home is Almost as hard as being given a flag, a box of belongings and a casket. Buuy-yahhh.

    Like

  12. 12
    Lilscorpiosweet

    I wanted to share with you a quote from a favorite author of mine.

    “While we mourn the loss of those who died, we must also pay tribute to you who fought and suffered with equal valor–and survived.”

    Diana Gabaldon used this in her 5th book The Fiery Cross. Chapter 15 “The Flames of Declaration”.

    Like

  13. Thanks, Jenny. It means a lot that someone with your influence would remind people of the sacrifices our troops make.

    Like

  14. My dad is is a vet 26 years of service. I live in a town with army and air force. Several families I know have lost son’s in the marines in the last few years. Today is most certinally more than BBQ’s and sales for my family. We have been lucky enough for that my dad had to be a way for the family for extended periods of time and has only been in a combat zone. But military lIfe is very hard on service members as well as their families. I hope that every one takes the time out to think no only of those that severe and but those who love them and have lost them well.

    Like

  15. Beautiful! Thank you for posting this!

    Like

    Kernut the Blond recently posted I Want Me Some Navy SEAL.

  16. Love that poem. Thanks, Jenny.

    Like

    Julie Marsh recently posted That mom- Swim practice.

  17. I love the way you can switch from ridiculous to serious when you feel it was warranted. I have all the respect in the world for the men and women who serve. But no respect at all for the way our government cares for them afterwards. I have seen the before and after of people who have gone to war and the person we welcome home is never the same as the person we say goodbye to.

    Like

  18. Amen. Thank you for posting this.

    Like

    Laurie F. recently posted The Letter.

  19. Also, that’s a beautiful poem. Thanks for sharing. Not enough poetry gets shared these days. It’s such a powerful form of writing.

    Like

  20. Amen

    Like

    watercolorgirl recently posted Es baby blanket.

  21. It is too easy to forget the real reason we mark Memorial Day as we grab a drink from the cooler and a burger off the grill – thanks to those who make it all possible! And a moment to reflect on all who have had their lives altered by war and those who have been lost, including my paternal grandfather, who died in a plane crash in WWII, leaving behind his wife and infant son.

    Like

  22. Great post. My dad was fighter pilot in the South Pacific in WW II. He’d loved this.

    Like

    Bodaciousboomer recently posted You may call me Ms Blackwell.

  23. My brother’s leaving for Marine OCS on Thursday. Reading all the posts I’ve seen dedicated to those who have served makes me tear up and swell with pride. I doubt he’ll ever see combat, since he’s an engineer, but I have so much respect for those who do go and fight for our our country. It hurts to think about how it must feel to lose someone in that combat. Thank you for posting this. I need to go blot my face now because it’s all wet.

    Like

    Rachael recently posted Why Wil Wheaton Totally Could But Shouldn’t Start a Religion.

  24. Respect and love to all those who are serving and have served our country. Y’all rock!

    Like

    The Queen B recently posted Music for a Saturday.

  25. So true. I have a lot of friends and family who are/were in the service. And even though they’ve made it back, they’re not the same… They give up a lot more than we realize. Love and prayers to all those who have or had loved ones in war.

    Like

    lexcade recently posted Six Sentence Sunday 5-29.

  26. Aw, you’re fantastic.

    Ironically, I just discovered a blog today, thetexanwhowouldbeking.wordpress.com. It’s a Houston guy writing from where he’s stationed in Afghanistan. Read it, if you have time. He’s pretty awesome.

    Like

    Margaret Goerig recently posted High winds and fast waters.

  27. Beautiful!
    My father is a Vietnam veteran and I dedicated my post to him today.

    Like

    Bobbi recently posted Happy Memorial Day.

  28. I find it very interesting, as someone who doesn’t live in the same country as you, how Americans interpret War, Peace and Freedom. Regardless of political backgrounds, we can all agree that if there must be a war, there must be people who put the greater good first in their lives and who make the ultimate sacrifice. I am thankful for those people. And for the people who take the time to draw attention to them and encourage others to be thankful.

    Like

  29. I don’t agree with the principle of war, but I will always respect and be grateful for the service our troops have given our country to help keep us free.

    Like

  30. Thank you, Jennifer. This fat old Vietnam vet thanks you. Would that this day would never have been necessary – or that we learn enough from it so that it speaks to an end of War.

    Like

    lceel recently posted Monday Meanders 5-30 Memorial Day.

  31. Word.

    Like

    Joules recently posted The Musacks – Erasure.

  32. It’s beautiful. Thanks, Jenny

    ~EdT.
    (USAF vet)

    Like

    EdT. recently posted Things to see in Houston- Comicpalooza.

  33. Last year I did a post where I simply wanted to list the family and extended family that had served and been lost and it ended up being super sad to me looking at all the flag cases in the front room, and thinking about how lucky I am. In the last year 6 more family members have joined. I really don’t want that list to get any longer. For anyone.

    Like

  34. Wow. That made me cry! Thank you.

    Like

    Leanne Moffat recently posted In Vain.

  35. You are amazing, Jenny. This post was perfect and so was the poem. The men and women in the military are heroes, plain and simple. They do what they have to do to protect our freedoms – and some make the ultimate sacrifice. It isn’t about whether or not you agree with the politics; or whether or not war is warranted; it is about these brave men and women who put their lives on the line for us – especially when you remember that they do it willingly.

    Like

    Gigi recently posted Then and Now.

  36. Like.

    Like

    Johi recently posted Im not ready.

  37. I play in the Army Band, Pershing’s Own, for a living, and we play for military funerals at Arlington Cemetery every weekday. I can assure you that this day means so very much to families and friends of the brave service members who gave their lives. Thank you for honoring them in this post.

    Like

  38. Beautiful and so very true! Thanks for sharing!

    Like

    The Mommy Therapy recently posted Dear Tantrum Throwing Offspring-.

  39. I normally wouldn’t post a link in another’s comments section, but I read this article and it resonated with me. Heavily.
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/05/30/keesling.suicide.military.condolence/index.html?hpt=C2

    Thank you to ALL the soldiers who have died, whether it was in physical combat, or combat of the mind. They ALL deserved to be honored.

    Like

    Marisa @ I failed math recently posted I think I read crazy books.

  40. Here’s to all of the men and women who never made it back, and to the ones who left pieces of themselves strewn all over somewhere else so that we could sit down and write whatever the fuck we want to, without fear of a tyrant regime taking that away from us.

    Like

  41. what a beautiful poem- thank you for this. All my great uncles and both Grandfathers (now passed) were WWll vets and many were decorated. Anytime I see a young man or woman in uniform I thank them for their service. God Bless our vets.

    Like

    Lisa recently posted When Should YOU Start Dating Again.

  42. Really great Memorial Day tribute! Very touching.

    Like

    Jacqui recently posted This Is An Outrage….

  43. I found out a lot of interesting things about my grandfather at his funeral. He was very passionate about fighting in WWII, he was shocked and disgusted by what was going on and felt like he had to go and fight. While he was in training in Ontario, they learned that many of the local farms were desperately in need of work because all the strong young men had gone to join the army. He and the other recruits helped out on the farms while in training for war. Those are the kind of people that fought for freedom. I like those people and I’d rather have them.

    Like

    Madfishmonger recently posted Vintage Brown Velvet Beret.

  44. Excellent. So Say We All.

    yeah, i’m a geek…sue me.

    Like

    Lynn MacDonald (All Fooked Up) recently posted In which i raise my hand.

  45. Excellent post, Jenny..🙂

    Like

    Dana recently posted A Moment For Praise And Looking Back and Where Weve Been.

  46. This blog is always awesome weather its ridiculous nonsense or seriousness.

    Like

    tova recently posted GIVEAWAY for Memorial Day!.

  47. Freedom is not FREE, it just feels that way in America since we got it on credit.

    Like

    If I Were God... recently posted When crapping your pants and prayer go together.

  48. Greta sentiment and all that, only, is the first stanza missing a line?

    So young, so tall, so proud,
    *shouldn’t there be another line here??*
    He’d stand out in any crowd.

    Cos otherwise the poem’s rhyming struture is out of whack. Just sayin.

    Like

  49. Thanks for posting this. I come from a family filled with military members and I myself just joined the Army (although I totally don’t know what I’m doing and I just spelled out something using ‘unicorn’ for U), but anyways- it means a lot.

    Like

    SuzRocks recently posted 9 Nifty Tips to Avoid Projectile Vomiting While Traveling.

  50. We lost my nephew in 2005 to a car bomb in Iraq. Thank you you for your remembrance and kindness.

    Like

    Cindy recently posted LOVE THURSDAY.

  51. Very well said then, this one is the serious piece that you have mad ever. By the way I so much salute all in the military they are truly our heroes who are sacrificing to fight for us against rebellious people.

    Like

    Mike Orlando recently posted Iams Cat Food.

  52. 54
    Wanda Donaldson

    Big thanks to all the men and women in their military as well as their families who make huge sacrifices. Capt. I normally wouldn’t post a link in another’s comments section, but I read this article and it resonated with me. It isn’t about whether or not you agree with the politics; or whether or not war is warranted; it is about these brave men and women who put their lives on the line for us – especially when you remember that they do it willingly.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s