Chapter 572 is titled "The Times They Are A-Changin'".
Luffy and Ace, now free, fight their way through the Marine soldiers as Sengoku grumbles in disgrace. Squard charges in with one of Whitebeard's ships, but Whitebeard stops it, saying that his crew must return to the New World alive. As his crew and allies look on in amazement, Whitebeard states that it is time to settle matters with the Marines.
All of Whitebeard's allies cheer on Luffy and Ace for their efforts, while the Impel Down escapees stand amazed at Luffy's feats up to that point. The Marines brace themselves to stop Ace and Luffy, who get ready to break through. As the Marines open fire, Ace and Luffy easily fight back against the soldiers. Whitebeard's forces try to create a path for Luffy and Ace, while the Marines continue to attempt to execute the two. Aokiji fires a mass of ice at them, which Ace blocks with an enormous wall of fire. Sengoku grumbles in disgrace that he had allowed the two to get away; Doflamingo suggests they let them get away to make things more interesting, which Vice Admiral Momonga scolds him for; Akainu swears that he will not allow any of them to leave; the Marines come across Mr. 3, who is lying exhausted from his actions.
Whitebeard's extra ship suddenly comes plowing through Marineford, being driven by Squard. Squard reveals that he wishes to stall the Marines while the others escape. Marco comments on Squard's stupidity as an ally unlocks the Seastone cuffs around him. As the ship pulls closer into the city, it screeches to a halt, as Whitebeard stops it with one hand. Whitebeard shouts out that Squard had done nothing, as he was reaching the end of his lifespan anyway; he then says that he's about to deliver his final "captain's order". While his men try to talk him out of it, Whitebeard bellows out that they must part ways, and that they must all return to the New World alive at all costs. He claims that he is nothing more than a remnant of an era gone by, delivering an enormous quake into the city of Marineford. Reminiscing, the crew of his past ask Whitebeard what he wants if he does not desire treasure, and to the crew of his present he says that he has had a long journey, and is ready to settle things with the Marines.
- Whitebeard, satisfied with Ace's freedom, gives his crew and allies one final order.
- The chapter's title is based on Bob Dylan's song, "The Times They Are a-Changin'".