He scarce had need to doff his pride or slough the dross of Earth -- E'en as he trod that day to God so walked he from his birth, In simpleness and gentleness and honor and clean mirth.
So cup to lip in fellowship they gave him welcome high
And made place at the banquet board -- the Strong Men ranged thereby,
Who had done his work and held his peace and had no fear to die.
This day, I choose to honor those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. We have highlighted some here, and as always we honor Major Mathew Schram. I have written before of my Uncle Foster who's body lies in the ocean off Japan, and others of my family for generations back lie also in graves unmarked and marked near battles at home and abroad.
I also want to honor Lance Cpl. Jeremy W. Burris, USMC. No, I can't say I knew him much at all, for fate had other plans. I give thanks that Matt Maupin is home at last. I wish I could have met these men in the flesh, and that I had gotten to shake this man's hand.
For all those known and unknown, take a moment this day to remember them, to give thanks for them, and to reflect on what their service means to us all. Remember what will, choice comes to us all and service in many forms be paid.
To the God in Man displayed -- Where'er we see that Birth, Be love and understanding paid As never yet on earth!
To the Spirit that moves in Man,
On Whom all worlds depend,
Be Glory since our world began
And service to the end!
Final stanzas, The Choice, Rudyard Kipling