But in that happy cacophony, for those whose loved one came home on an Angel Flight, or not at all, there is a reverence in the revelry. A quiet ache. A love. An honoring.
Those remembered fallen had in their hearts that same indomitable spirit found in Martin Treptow, a young private killed in action during the First World War. Years later, President Reagan recounted the words found on his body. ''America must win this war. Therefore I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone.''
Today, we honor that spirit and purpose to express it in our own lives. As Abraham Lincoln stated, "It is for us the living... to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought... have thus far so nobly advanced."
We here today, bow our heads in reverence and honor for those who have given their full measure for those principles of Liberty that have made America that City on a Hill, that beacon of freedom to those oppressed throughout the world.
As we now battle here at home to restore those principles, let us be filled with courage and joyfully fight for freedom, buoyed by the love for America so dearly expressed by our fallen.