I grew up in a neighborhood full of senior citizens. Since my grandparents lived out of town, a neighborhood couple who didn't have any grandchildren of their own "adopted" me. They'd aske me to their house almost every day. Miss E would make tea cakes and hot cocoa or lemonade...depending on the season. We'd eat while Mr. B told stories. It was always great fun. One Fourth Of July, I went to the parade with Mr. B & Miss E. Mr. B looked so proud when he stepped out the door wearing his complete WWI uniform. He said it still fit...but I seem to recall it being a little snug. Miss E was surprised and maybe just a little embarrassed, but she said she was proud to be with such a handsome soldier. They held my hands and we walked the two blocks to busy downtown Iuka. For me, the 4th of July had always meant parades, fireworks, and maybe a picnic. THAT day...I grew up just a little bit.
I was eight and he was seventy two, his hair was white and his eyes were blue and I was proud to call him… my “Old Friend” It was the Fourth of July, in our little town and a big parade, was coming down the street flags waving…. in the wind. CHORUS: And he said, Freedom…is never free A lot of people have paid the price…even me And we stood there, with our heads held high He saluted as the flag passed by And softly cried….Freedom, isn’t free. He had fought, in World War I -- Lost a lot of friends, before the battles were done and he’d come back home to his wife and family World War II, took his only son, but he was proud of what the boy had done. Kept a picture in his wallet and he showed it to me Repeat CHORUS: Now every year, on the Fourth of July , I recall my old friend with a tear in my eye. I can see him in that old uniform…standing straight and tall I remember how I felt when he held my hand, how he taught me what it means to love this land and the price others pay when this country calls LAST CHORUS: And, Freedom…is never free A lot of people have paid the price…for you and me Now, I stand there with my head held high – Brush a tear away as the flag passes by And remember, Freedom….. isn’t free. I remember, Freedom…isn’t free.