What Does Independence Day Mean to You?

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
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!!



  1. Anonymous says:

    From the HBO series John Adams.


  2. Gail B says:

    Beautiful poem, written as a tribute to his father who had served two tours in Viet Nam. Kelly was a senior in high school.

    SSgt. John Beale was recently brought home from Afghanistan. The funeral route was lined with people to show respect. He was from my county.

    Today I received a PowerPoint slide show of the funeral of Cpl. Brett Lundstrom of the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune. He was killed in Ira1 in January 2006, and I remembered him because I wrote a story about it for the newspaper.
    Cpl. Lunstrom was a Lakota Indian from North Dakota.

    It breaks my heart when we lose one of our soldiers, learn of their injuries, or realize that their minds have been damaged by stresses of war or injury. It is so touching for me to see someone who is either in uniform or sentimentally displays evidence of having served in our military that it is all I can do to keep dry eyes long enough to thank them.

    Most of us have ancestors whose blood spilled into American soil during the Revolution. I just pray that this 233rd Independence Day will not be our last, that God will smile upon us all and free us from the grip that is choking the life out of our economy, ripping our Constitution, and enslaving Americans into a hell that we did not want in the first place.

    It's 3:30 a.m., and I am here at the computer because I cannot sleep. There is no peace in our lives. We have never had to watch the contemporary liberal Democrats before as we do today because of their methodical, purposeful work to weaken the greatest country in the world. The richest people in the world are running our country, not We the People. This is sad.


    Is it just me?, or is anybody else ready to fight for it again?

  4. Anonymous says:

    The best thing we can do today is go to a TEA PARTY!! Let everyone know that this movement is stronger than ever. Our freedoms are worth standing up for or we will lose them all. We owe it to many courageous men and women to guard our liberty. I know I'm speaking to the choir here because most of the people on here realize what is happening and what is at stake. We must restore our nation and with God's help we will!

  5. sharon says:

    Independence Day means more to me today than ever before. It always reminded me how lucky we were to be Americans and what freedom means. Now it means keeping those freedoms we hold dear.

  6. John Feeny says:

    Amen, Gail.

    And I am ready to fight.

  7. Gail B says:

    In 2 Chron. 7:14 God states,
    "If my people who are called by my
    name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land."

    In Texarkana, there are yard signs saying, "America, prayer is our only hope" – with 2 Chron. 7:14

    In my 1945 copy of The Book of Common Prayer (Protestant Episcopal Church), "A Prayer of St. Chrysostom:"

    Almighty God, who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications unto thee; and dost promise that when two or three are gathered together in thy Name thou wilt grant their requests; Fulfill now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of thy servants, as may be most expedient for them; granting us in this world knowledge of thy truth, and in the world to come life everlasting. Amen"

    Verify: payin — thought it was gonna say prayin(g)

  8. Anonymous says:

    I Miss Independence,

    I've seen war, I do not chose it. I also know that the cost of freedom is paid for in blood. Paying that price is not something I'm eager to do. It will be a somber day when I support a call to arms to regain our freedom. If we get to that point, we're not there yet, I will be leading the way.


  9. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. What a beautiful tribute to all those men and women who have sacrificed everything that we might go out today and celebrate our country no matter what the current circumstances.

    We must not let the individuals represented in this poem have given their lives for this great country without the rest of us defending its Constitution-laws, values, and traditions. We must not renign on this duty.

    A blessed 4th of July to you and your family, Jeff, and to other posters here.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The voice of reason in the person of Sally Kern. Read "Sally Kern: Homosexuality should be 'exposed and attacked' | Tips-Q" at http://www.tips-q.com/1055005-sally-kern-homosexuality-should-be-exposed-and-attacked
    To tell America that homosexuality is an abomination, is disgusting and repugnant is a moral responsibility. This idea that we have to be again politically correct on this matter too is one time too many I could say.
    It is not about hate against the lost souls who have adopted these evil deeds. It is about helping them get back to their senses I could say before it is too late.

    Same idea for many other things. For instance, Muslim immigration is, in the long-term, a big problem for America because one day these American Muslims will be the first one to wear suicide belts and commit atrocities in the name of Islam. But this time it will be on American soil and by "American" Muslims.

    Same idea for affirmative actions in favor of any particular group. While white, Asian and so on toil very hard, sacrifice and so on to go to college and pay their tuition fees, here come a Black or a Mexican American and they are paid everything to attend college. Then, when they look for a job, they are not judged on their skils but on the color of their skin or the background they come from (Latino) and get the job based on that.
    Again, no hatred against anybody. Against Blacks or Latinos. Just plain honest talking. There cannot be in a just, fair society people of a particular group who get preferential treatment, no matter the reasons.

    We must confront the problems honestly. And stop being politically correct.

  11. Lilly says:

    Happy Independence Day everyone! Beautiful poem. If you haven't seen this video that godaddy put out, it's exactly what this day means to me! I have renewed faith that although the next few years will test our core, we and our country will be stronger for it! God Bless the USA!

    word verification = wicringe Everyday, lol!

  12. Lead Based Paint says:

    Independence Day means to me that the lives and sacrifices of many generations of Americans has been squandered on political correctness, junk science, and glip "Hope and Change" slogans used to usher in tyranny.

    Those who lived by "Give me liberty or give me death!" have paid the way for "give me free health care, free houses, and free money and I don't care what else goes on!"

    We live now under more oppression than that which triggered our first revolution. The time for a second revolution is way past and may never come again if good people continue to sit idly by as our liberty is usurped.


    I thoroughly enjoyed the fireworks as broadcast from D.C. by PBS. The city is indeed beautiful and historic, but it's sad to think how many people there celebrating have so little idea the ugly and fatalistic goings-on that are indeed going on there.

    And I found the thousands of idol worship Obama t-shirts a little frightening. What a shallow society. Go ahead and call me a racist Janeane but that is just a little weird.

    Wonder what Michelle REALLY thought about all those rockets red glare going off over her and her mothers house.

  14. Claudia says:

    "Well, I never felt more like cryin all night"……'Cause everythin's wrong, and nothin' ain't right; Without you, you got me singin' the blues. Oh, the moon and stars no longer shine; The dream is gone I thought was mine;'"

    From "Singin the Blues" by Guy Mitchell, way back when I was a kid…..

    and I thought about hanging my flag upside down, and I just stayed in and thought about the whole way my (and your) world has changed so dramatically in just the last 7 months and I did sit down and cry. And I heard Neil Diamond singing "America" (his version) about they are all coming to America, all the illegals, all the naysayers, all the people who want to make it their mission to destroy America from the inside out….. and I saw the dancers doing the skit "I want to be an American" from the "new" Broadway play version of West Side Story, and wonder just how the writer of that play and movie way back in the early 60's could have gotten it so right??

    We have lost our country and now are going to lose every single thing about it that made it great, because we (in open honest sympathy) tried to promote peace and loving inclusiveness to all who wanted to be US…… and now they are going to take it all away from the US who gave it to them in the first place. And I haven't even started on Obama, and am trying to NOT go that route today because it is soooo oppressive and scary that I don't even want to think abuout it….

    And then I really did sit down and CRY….I have more people from all of the sides of my family that have given lives to this country since 1623 (when they first came here (The Balch Planters and the Conants and the Hill family with Miles Standish) and landed at Beverly, Mass, and before that, The Virginia Colony (not sure fo the exact date), set up by William Claiborne, since that time I have a good 12 generations back, times 4to 5 side families, that have given at least one and possibly more to the freedom fight, ONE AirForce Base in Utah and ONE NAVAL TRAINING BASE at ANNAPOLIS, are both dedicated (and the land under them given by) to members of my family, ONE named and signed mapper on the Lewis & Clark Trail, several governors, several prominent politicians of their time in many different parts of the Country) than many of those that recently got in the ships and on the planes or came through Ellis Island, to make America home to them and their families, ALL of my relatives have been here fighting and making good on the potential promise to this nation since its inception and I feel heart broken at the turn of sensibilities and loss of America… for what, so Obama and Soros and those that are so desperate to destroy it, can do it within a set time period of oh, say, one year…. THIS IS BULLSH*T!!!

    I am ready, come on and get me….. I am not going to sit here "cryin all night" any longer….. I WANT AMERICA TO SURVIVE AND COME BACK TO WHAT THE DREAM OF MY FOREFATHERS WAS ALL ABOUT…… I have a very deeply vested interest in this country and this dream!!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Tea parties…weren't they supposed to take place this past weekend??? Did Fox news even cover them??? I sure missed it if they did.

  16. Anonymous says:

    wnd.com has a couple of nice pieces on the 7/4 tea parties


    The few tea party clips I saw looked pathetic. We gotta get serious and a bit 'ugly' folks. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE.



    Once again, the Capitol is way too awe inspiring and beautiful. It's ego inducing power is unmatched. Our entire representative process needs to be rethought


    I'm with Lead Based Paint above.
    We survived Guadacanal, Okinawa, Normandy, Sicily, The Philippines, Saigon, Kuwait, Baghdad, and Afghanistan for this??? WTF

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