The Star-Spangled Banner
Oh, thus be it ever, when free men shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust!"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave
My father did not die directly in the service of our great country. On January 9, 2012 he passed away in his own home with his beloved family around him. But in a greater sense, my dad gave his life for his country. For 31 years he served as a special agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. During that time he braved countless situations which might have resulted in his death, capture, or worse. His efforts as a counter-terrorism expert for the FBI resulted in the protection of his great country on numerous occasions. He traveled all over the Arabian peninsula, the former Soviet states, Europe, and the United States.
I recall a time when the phone rang and on the other end was my dad. "Where are you," I asked. His response was that he really shouldn't tell me. I inquired about what he was doing. Again, not something I needed to know. Perhaps he wanted to speak with mom? No, not that either. He simply called to let us know that he was safe, and that he would be home sometime in the next 1-2 weeks. Despite the imminent danger in which he must have repeatedly found himself, I never once heard anything in his voice other than resolute determination to press forward in the defense of his country.
Though he preferred to remain unsung, though he did not die in battle, I will always remember my dad as a national hero, and the one man who taught me what it means to be an American.