But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.There is much hallowed ground, from American cemeteries in Europe to American cemeteries in the Pacific. My wife's late husband, Lieutenant Robert Harlan, lies in the waters off the coast of Okinawa, swallowed by the Pacific in a peacetime training accident—but a peacetime accident on the 179th day of a 90 day deployment of his F-4 squadron to Okinawa to replace an F-102 squadron that had deployed to Southeast Asia, as part of our commitment to the Republic of Viet-nam. Hallowed water, hallowed ground.
There is my roommate from my first year at the Air Force Academy, Alan Trent, who died in an F-4D crash in Southeast Asia. His body was never recovered. Funnily enough, I drove past his childhood home town, Wadsworth, Ohio, on the way out to the Dayton area to visit my daughter.
There are so many opportunities to honor those who have given the last full measure, from Valley Forge to Arlington—any Arlington, in any State—and a hundred thousand other places. I lived for seven years in Dumfries, Virginia. During the run-up to the Battle of Gettysburg, Union Cavalry were stationed there. The Union forces then moved west and north, as General Lee's Confederate forces moved west and then north from Fredericksburg, a little ways south, on the other side of the Rappahannock River. I expect that Union troops may have traversed the area of my home from time to time.
There is much hallowed ground.
Regards — Cliff