Freedom isn't free

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"Freedom Is Not Free" engraved on the Washington, D.C. Korean War Veterans Memorial.

"Freedom isn't free", "freedom is not free", or "freedom ain't free" is a popular American idiom, used widely in the United States to express gratitude to the military for defending personal freedoms.


"Freedom Is Not Free" was first coined by retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, Walter Hitchcock, of New Mexico Military Institute. The idiom expresses gratitude for the service of members of the military, implicitly stating that the freedoms enjoyed by many citizens in many democracies are only possible through the risks taken and sacrifices made by those in the military, drafted or not. The saying is often used to convey respect specifically to those who are believed to have given their lives in defense of freedom.

"Freedom Is Not Free" is engraved into one wall at the Korean War Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C..

In popular culture[edit]

There are at least four published songs with this title.

The idiom may be used as a rhetorical device.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ " sheet music site". Retrieved 2008-07-23.