The recording shows the truck careening to a stop immediately in front of the two Marines. In all of the instantaneous violence Yale and Haerter never hesitated. By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back. They never even started to step aside. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. They had only one second left to live.
The truck explodes. The camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God.
Not enough time to think about their families, their country, their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty … into eternity. That is the kind of people who are on watch all over the world tonight—for you.
Never forget that right now, all over the world, there are men and women in service to this country doing the same. They have offered their lives, should the heavens want them, in defense of an ideal. An imperfect one. An experiment. Sometimes denied or delivered far short of the goal. Yet, one worth dying to achieve and defend. An ideal called Freedom.