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PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day


One day a year, we shed a tear
For the lives we’ve lost in battle.

For the Sons and Daughters we’ll never see,
For the Mothers and Fathers who kept us free,
For our Sisters and Brothers who stood so tall,
With courage and grace to protect us all.

Remember the lives that we’ve lost,
And that Freedom comes with a cost.
Hold their love and memories near,
Tonight we sleep without a fear.

For our family and friends’ great sacrifice,
Who gave their strength, and then their life,
A gift so great… how do we repay?
Have a Happy Memorial Day!

And remember….

~ Karlene

Those who have lost a loved one, we know their tears are shed more than one day a year. The pain and thoughts of, 'if only' I had one more day, live with them daily. Today is not about the pros or cons of war, Memorial Day is about honoring and remembering those people who gave their lives for a cause, for our freedom, and for hope of a brighter future for our children. Thank you!

As Kelly Strong says, 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,
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.

~Copyright 1981 By
LCDR Kelly Strong, USCG~

Thank You Kelly!  


  1. You can't read that without tearing up! I loved both poems Karlene, they were beautiful! Thank you for such a touching tribute.

  2. Thank you Heather! A special day for those who gave their lives... tears are a good thing.


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