Last year, my father, who was a veteran, passed away. As mourners stood along with my family at his grave side, a soldier blew the strains of "Taps." That eloquent and haunting melody drifted over his resting place as an official tribute to a fallen serviceman – a man who was a devout follower of Jesus Christ; a man who felt his family was his greatest achievement; a man who deeply loved his country. Today his tombstone proudly acknowledges his service in the United States Coast Guard.
There are times when I am glad my father cannot witness what seems to be a rapid fall in our country's Armed Forces. But then again, perhaps he does. Stephen Bleecker Luce, Rear Admiral, 1885, in the United Sates Navy, once referred to worthy seamen who exhibited the highest Christian virtues and would appear among that great cloud of heavenly witnesses the writer of Hebrews referred to in chapter 12 and verse 1.