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 Honor the Fallen Soldier - Freedom Is Not Free

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Damocles
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Join date : 2009-04-22
Posts : 240
Location : Piedmont NC

PostSubject: Honor the Fallen Soldier - Freedom Is Not Free   Sun May 24, 2009 2:25 pm



FREEDOM IS NOT FREE

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 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!!

(author unknown)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

‘Flags In’ Ceremony Marks Beginning of Memorial Day Activities at Arlington National Cemetery


May 21st, 2009 Categories: Alexandria, Things to Do

Today at 3:30 pm, under clear skies, some 1500 soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment walked through the upper gates of Arlington Cemetery carrying rusacks full of American flags. Their mission? To place a flag on each and every grave site, leaving no soldier forgotten.

Known as ‘Flags In’, this decades old ceremony marks the beginning of Memorial Day activities at
Arlington National Cemetery.




The 3rd Infantry Regiment, fondly know as the “Old Guard”, was designated as the Army’s official ceremonial unit in 1948. That same year, non-commissioned officers began the practice of placing flags at each grave site on Memorial Day. Old Guard members also guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, escort deceased service members to their final resting place at Arlington and serve in regular billets around the world.




Still lead and coordinated by 3rd Regiment NCO’s, the soldiers were joined today by representatives from the Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and Marine honor guard units.

Command Sergeant Major David Martel noted that it would take his soldiers about 3 hours to place over 250,000 flags. With due reverence, each flag is centered approximately 12 inches in front of the grave. Because soldiers use their individual foot gear as a measure, a single service member begins and completes one row in a section to insure uniformity. The flags will stay in place through Monday, May 25th but will be removed before the cemetery opens on Tuesday, May 26th.














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teapartygirl



Join date : 2009-05-05
Posts : 8
Location : greensboro

PostSubject: Thank you!   Tue May 26, 2009 4:36 pm

Thanks for posting those. Really beautiful. I used to work in DC and took the metro downtown. Every day (and night) the train would stop at Arlington National Cemetary. You can't really see much from the train but it is a nice oasis of green on a mostly concrete jungle of a ride and there are some lovely forsythias in spring. Right afterwards, you go into a tunnel under the Potomac River. There may be a bit of symbolism there that I never thought about before....
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March Mellow



Join date : 2009-04-26
Posts : 209
Location : Char-Meck

PostSubject: Re: Honor the Fallen Soldier - Freedom Is Not Free   Tue May 26, 2009 7:31 pm

It was always an emotional experience for me to go by Arlngton National Cemetery. So many of the high school kids I grew up with in Alexandria, VA, never made it home from Nam, including the guy I was planning to marry after I graduated. One day I do want to go to the Vietnam Memorial, but I don't know if I can take the memories.
Thanks, Admin, even though it took me 20 minutes to stop crying.
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Damocles
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Join date : 2009-04-22
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PostSubject: Re: Honor the Fallen Soldier - Freedom Is Not Free   Wed May 27, 2009 4:20 am

Sorry about the tears March! It gave me a great sense of purpose to put that tribute together and get it online this year, and trust me when I say I had a heavy heart the whole time I worked on the posting.

I am ashamed that so few in this country recognize the loss of so many from among our number in the name of freedom and liberty. Would that a true accounting were given instead of a celebration of another day off work and massive commercial sales marketing campaigns.

We keep reading that a "sleeping giant" is waking up in this nation, but I fear that old boy will be too fat, spoiled, and lazy to do much else other than to yawn and roll over onto the other side...a far cry from the brave men and women we have laid to rest after their battle for freedom was won.
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Damocles
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PostSubject: Re: Honor the Fallen Soldier - Freedom Is Not Free   Wed May 27, 2009 12:57 pm

March, one of your neighbors there in the Charlotte area reminded me today that all our fallen heroes aren't resting in Arlington. Lest I be remiss there is more tribute due in memory of American sacrifice.









































...and there are many, many more in unmarked graves throughout the South Pacific and across the world, including those who died MIA and POW. Let us not forget a single one. Not one.

Since Memorial Day has come and gone this topic will be moved to an appropriate forum category where it can be archived and viewed on demand, living on as a perpetual reminder of the true cost of freedom.
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March Mellow



Join date : 2009-04-26
Posts : 209
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PostSubject: Re: Honor the Fallen Soldier - Freedom Is Not Free   Wed May 27, 2009 8:26 pm

Thank you, Admin. I had no idea.
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Damocles
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PostSubject: Re: Honor the Fallen Soldier - Freedom Is Not Free   Sat May 30, 2009 12:12 pm

I'm not sure how this slipped under my radar until today, but thanks to vigilant friends and email updates this incredible Memorial Day story found it's way to my doorstep (no thanks to mainstream media BTW). Watch this clip and see what displaying the flag for Memorial Day at one Texas hospital will get you:

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Damocles
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Join date : 2009-04-22
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PostSubject: Re: Honor the Fallen Soldier - Freedom Is Not Free   Sat May 30, 2009 12:28 pm

Fortunately public rebuke transformed this story, and there is a serious lesson to be learned from this entire event.

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