Freedom isn't free

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

There is a fountain infront of the 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. The idiom may be used as a rhetorical device.


"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 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]

In Machine Head's Song Clenching The Fists of Dissent, from the album The Blackening, there is a line "they say that freedom isn't free, it's paid with the lives of sons and families"

See also[edit]


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