Peace with Freedom
by Will Ghormley

the struggle for freedom
is tied up in my mind
with smoke shrouded battlefields.
And many men
not brave men
just men
doing what they feel they need to do.

They fight.
They die.
They go home and live with the images 
that have become part of them.
It is through the sacrifice of these men
that we are able to live at peace
with freedom.

What is it
that is bought at such a sacrifice?
Why do we value our freedom
purchased with the blood of men?
Couldn’t we sacrifice our freedom
for the blessings of peace?
But would we enjoy our peace
without our freedom?
It is freedom
that sweetens the years of peace.
What is peace
without that freedom?

If peace is only meaningful
when we have the freedom to enjoy it
and blood
the only price we could pay
then this world would soon dissolve in despair.

we exist on hope.
In our hearts
we believe in hope.
We believe
beginning with brothers and neighbors
man will know the senselessness of conflict.
We will search after peaceful resolutions.
What begins as self control among ourselves
will change the way our world deals with conflicts.
we will have peace
with freedom.

We cannot be idle, however
content in our freedom.
The violent 
will grope after their desires in the darkness of their depravity.
The impatient
will force the hand of destiny with their senseless bloodshed.
we would fall
and with us would fall
our hope
of peace
with freedom.

With this hope of peace
I take my place in the formation.
One of many men
not brave men
just men
ready to join the ranks of those who have laid down their lives
for their nation
their families
their hope.

We take the chance
we too may be sacrificed.
I hope
our willingness
will somehow detour
those who persist in violence
and we will live
to enjoy
with freedom.

6APL88 Will Ghormley, recipient of the Freedom’s Foundation At Valley Forge “George Washington Award”.
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