File image courtesy: Jason Bailey
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
So far in April, nine American service members have made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan while upholding the patriotic pledge that millions of schoolchildren recite each morning.
Staff Sgt. Tyler Smith, 24, Licking, Missouri
Staff Sgt. Christopher Brown, 26, Columbus, Ohio
Capt. Nicholas Rozanski, 36, Dublin, Ohio
Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Rieck, 45, Columbus, Ohio
Sgt. 1st Class Shawn Hannon, 44, Grove City, Ohio
Spc. Jeffrey White Jr., 21, Catawissa, Missouri
Cpl. Alex Martinez, 21, Elgin, Illinois
Spc. Antonio Burnside, 31, Great Falls, Montana
The ninth warrior, Cpl. Christopher Bordoni, 21, died in the hospital after being wounded in the same Jan. 18 terrorist attack that killed Cpl. Philip McGeath, who was remembered on this blog last month. Cpl. Bordoni, a brave Marine from Ithaca, New York, tragically succumbed to his injuries on Apr. 3.
With our nation still at war, let us make another solemn pledge. We will never forget all the valiant men and women who gave their last measure of devotion to the cause of freedom. As their families experience unimaginable pain and grief, let us also pray that they find some measure of comfort.
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Image courtesy: Sgt. Ken Scar