The Nixon Library Docent Guild and the Richard Nixon Foundation paid tribute to Orange County troops who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan in a special Christmas dedication in the East Room yesterday. Family members of the fallen were invited to place ornaments – each handmade in honor of their loved one – on the Hometown Heroes tree, which will be on display in the Library’s Annenberg Court throughout the Christmas season.
Introduced by Foundation President Sandy Quinn, Pastor Phil Hotsenphiller, of Yorba Linda’s Friends Church, offered an invocation and echoed the timeless virtues articulated in Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s legendary speech to West Point cadets in 1962, “Duty, Honor, Country.”

“He and she belong to history, as furnishing one of the greatest examples of patriotism,” said Hostenphiller, “they belong to posterity as the instructor to future generations in the principles of liberty and freedom, they belong to their friends, they belong to us by their virtues and by their achievements.”

Col. Wayne Scott, USAF read the names of the fallen during the ceremony, and closed the program with A Soldier’s Christmas, a poem in tribute to their extraordinary sacrifice.

Click here to read A Soldier’s Christmas.

Click here to view the names of the troops honored.

Photo: Kathleen and Dave Chappell, the parents of Army Spc. Jason K. Chappell placed an ornament in memory of their son on the “Hometown Heroes” tree in the East Room at the Nixon Library. The ceremony, co-hosted by the Nixon Library Docent Guild and Richard Nixon Foundation, included 22 Orange County families who lost loved ones in Iraq and Afghanistan.