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Marching through the deserted streets, looking ahead towards a tomorrow which might

never come… The tears, the sorrow, the nostalgia… All resulted from this one experience, an
experience which can never be turned back.

With eyes closed, lips bit, rifle held tightly, an eagle suddenly soars above. Opening his
eyes and observing it, the soldier remembers why he is here.

He remembers the stream of bullets raining down as they try to fend the enemies off.

He remembers the stalking strapped man that sacrificed himself to kill his comrades.

He remembers the falling bodies of the terrorists as they shot them down.

He remembers the shot aimed at a woman but instead shot a friend who threw himself to
defend her.

He remembers the reason he is here. The white flashes that struck the towers and caused
them to topple… The screams of anguish as many people tried to escape… The fear and horror
that struck everyone’s faces as the heart of America died before them. The tears, the bitter
resentment towards those that caused many families pain and grief was enough for him to take a

Looking back on that day… The day he gave his life for this moment, this experience,
this responsibility. Those terrorists resent our views, our values, our politics, our beliefs… It was
in his right – their right – to make them regret it, to fight for the lives lost, to fight for our
freedom and liberty, and to defend our country’s honor.

Iraq is just a shell… preventing entrance and exposition of those that are attempting to
destroy us. This barrier is broken the moment they struck our shield. Now, we shall draw our
swords and commit ourselves to right the wrong they bestowed upon America and her people.

“The time has come for us to re-establish the rights for which we stand, to re-assert our
inalienable rights to human dignity, self-respect, self-reliance—to be again the kind of people
who once made America great.1” This is his time, their time, our time to uphold the principles
and ideals of the American people.

He remembers the American flag waving in the wind, in all its glory atop the pole when
he signed up for servitude in the Armed Forces.

He remembers when his comrade died holding it, that it was the only thing left safe and

Quote from “American Self Reliance” by J. Ollie Edmunds
He remembers as he held his dying comrade’s hand, he looked to the flag. And what he
saw was what America stood for and he knew that his friend didn’t die in vain.

“Every color means liberty; every thread means liberty; every form of star and beam or
stripe of light means liberty – not lawlessness, but organized, institutional liberty – liberty
through law, and laws for liberty! This American Flag was the safeguard of liberty.2”

It was in his right – his responsibility – to protect liberty and to bring down those who
opposed it.

Marching through the deserted streets, looking ahead towards a tomorrow which might
never come… The commitment, the honor, the pride… All reasons for this one experience, an
experience of duty and loyalty.

The eagle continues its flight. The soldier follows it and as they approach the barracks
with the American flag fluttering from above, the eagle perches atop the pole from which it

Here stands America in all her grandeur of liberty and of courage. This was their time to
fight for it and to fight with it.

Quote from “The Meaning of Our Flag” by Henry Ward Beecher
“The Star Qualities of Adam Chijian”

The Adam Chijian Memorial Award Essay Contest

Written by Sophavandy Iv