OUR GUARDIAN ANGELS AND THE LAST FULL MEASURE OF DEVOTION - A Memorial Day Tribute
"We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." Abraham Lincoln
"Angel Flight" is the call sign for a USAF C-130, carrying a fallen hero on board. Their "salute" with flares looks like an angel with wings.
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I never served in the armed forces. I came of age toward the end of the Vietnam War. I supported the war, I registered for the draft, and I would have served if drafted. By the time it was my turn to face the draft, the Selective Service System had initiated a lottery to establish a priority for those to be called up for military service. I received a very high lottery number, which meant I wasn't drafted. I went on with my education and my missionary service.
As a result, I never experienced the horrors of combat and the prospect of an early death in a faraway war. I am deeply grateful for those who did serve, and especially for those who gave "the last full measure of devotion" for our freedom. I fear, however, that anything I might say besides "Thank you from the bottom of my heart" might seem shallow and almost inappropriate compared to those who went "over there" and especially those who did not return home to their loved ones.
I see them as guardian angels who stood stalwart in the face of tyranny and protected our American way of life with their own blood. Like Lincoln, I "highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
This nation is the last great hope of freedom on the earth. It is a beacon, a city on a hill that calls out to and gives hope to freedom-loving, law-abiding, and God-fearing people everywhere. It must be preserved to fulfill that role.
I pledge to do my part to keep alive the memory of those who gave their all to keep me and my children and my children's children free. Thank you, guardian angels, for your service. Thank you for your sacrifice for the cause of freedom. Thank you for your devotion, your "last full measure of devotion," to our beloved country. On this Memorial Day I salute you.