"‘Semper Fidelis’—it means always being faithful to Corps, and to country, and to the memory of fallen comrades like Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter. These young men enlisted in a time of war, knowing they would face great danger. They came here, to Camp Lejeune, as they trained for their mission. And last April, they were standing guard in Anbar. In an age when suicide is a weapon, they were suddenly faced with an oncoming truck filled with explosives. These two Marines stood their ground. These two Marines opened fire. And these two Marines stopped that truck. When the thousands of pounds of explosives detonated, they had saved 50 Marines and Iraqi police who would have been in the truck’s path, but Corporal Yale and Lance Corporal Haerter lost their own lives. Jonathan was 21. Jordan was 19.
“In the town where Jordan Haerter was from, a bridge was dedicated in his name. One Marine who traveled to the ceremony said: ‘We flew here from all over the country to pay tribute to our friend Jordan, who risked his life to save us. We wouldn’t be here without him."
President Barack Obama
February 27th, 2009 In A Speech
Given On Camp Lejeune.
" If our country continues to provide us with great young Marines like that, we can go anywhere and do anything that this nation asks."
Commandant James Conway, USMC
September 18th, 2008
“I have a son back home, and I know if that truck would’ve made it to where it was going I wouldn’t be here today. Because of Lance Cpl. Haerter and Cpl. Yale, I will be able to see my son again. They gave me that opportunity.”
LCpl Lawrence Tillery
" Even by the standards expected of Marine grunts their bravery was exceptional."
Major General John Kelly
Jonathan and Jordan are shining examples of the promise of America’s next generation. They could have had many other opportunities in life. Yet they chose to leave these things behind and devote themselves instead to the calling of their country. They gave their lives as they lived them, for truths as emphatic as they are simple: Brotherhood. Loyalty. Devotion. Sacrifice. Extraordinary Heroism—those words epitomize their last selfless act on this earth. They lived the Marine Corps motto “Semper Fidelis” – “always faithful”. There are fifty people alive today because of Jonathan and Jordan’s faithfulness. “Semper Fidelis”, indeed.
These Marines’ extraordinary heroism has earned them the Navy Cross, and a place of legend in Marine Corps history for generations to come. I have seen the best of America, and these Marines would make our Founding Fathers proud.
Two of America’s finest, lost protecting their friends against the enemies of freedom, are no longer with us. But by their sacrifice, these two shining examples of courage and devotion will inspire the heroes that will lead our nation to victory in the years ahead.
The final verse of the Marines’ Hymn concludes; “If the Army and the Navy ever look on Heaven’s scenes, they will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines.” I have every confidence that if Jonathan and Jordan are on duty today, they are standing their post as proudly as they did on that April Tuesday in Ramadi.
Let us be inspired by the heroism of these two Marines, and by the many sacrifices made by patriots at home and abroad in the global war on terror. To our Marines and all who wear the uniform - thank you for your service to the Nation. May God bless our Navy and Marine Corps, and may God continue to bless America.
Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter
February 20th, 2009
" I'm not sure if I can even put into the right words of what it took those two Marines to stare death in the face and say 'you are not taking my brothers, you are not passing....."
SSgt Kenneth Grooms
" Jordan Haerter and Jon Yale went out for guard duty in the morning of April 22, 2008. Before nightfall, their actions would become the stuff of Marine legend. A hundred years from now, drill sergeants will use their names to inspire future generations of Marines."
"" They had to make alot of decision's in those six seconds and one of them was to die. They wouldn't have stood there and done what they did unless they were Marines right down to their DNA."
Major General John Kelly
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