Monday, July 25, 2005

Some Give All, Some Give Some

Purple HeartWhat is the Purple Heart? The Purple Heart is an American military medal and is the world's oldest military decoration still in use. It was the first American medal to be awarded to the common soldier. Initially it was named the Badge of Military Merit and was created by one of the world’s most famed and best-loved heroes— General George Washington.

The PURPLE HEART is a combat decoration awarded to members of the armed forces of the United States who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy. When the wounds are mortal, the PURPLE HEART is posthumously given to the fallen soldier's next of kin in his name.

The Military Order of the Purple Heart

John S. McCain III (Veterans History Project), was a recipient of The Purple Heart. The Purple Heart medal on the chest of a young soldier reminds us that ...

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze
A young soldier 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--Cadet Major Kelly Strong

Linked at Mudville Gazette's 'Open Post' and 'Beltway Traffic Jam' at Outside the Beltway.

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