“For we must consider that we shall be as a City upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. Soe that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause him to withdraw his present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword throughout the world.”

The words are those of John Winthrop, governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony.

In her column today, Michelle Malkin gives thanks to those who have helped preserve the shining city upon a hill:

“Tyrone L. Chisholm, 27, of Savannah, Ga. An Army sergeant and father of two, Chisholm was killed Nov. 11 when a string of roadside bombs exploded near his Abrams tank in Tall Afar, Iraq, along the Syrian border. He was assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Ft. Carson, Colo. His aunt, Delores Baron, said: ‘He was really excited about the Army. He was proud of what he was doing, and he died doing what he wanted to do: serve his country.’

“Roger W. Deeds, 24, of Biloxi, Miss. A lance corporal in the Marine Corps and father of two, Deeds was among five Marines killed last week during Operation Steel Curtain in Ubaydi, Iraq, a terrorist stronghold also near the Syrian border. His mother, Joyce, said: ‘The Marine motto is ‘Semper Fi — always faithful.’ They have a saying that no one is left behind. And that’s how my son died. . . . He was faithful to God, country and family.’

“James S. Ochsner, 36, of Waukegan, Ill. An Army sergeant 1st class, Ochsner was killed last week when an improvised explosive device detonated near his armored Humvee during a supply distribution mission in Orgun, Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border. ‘He was going out to distribute some goods to the local people,’ Ochsner’s father, Bob Ochsner of Beach Park, told the Chicago Sun-Times. ‘He loved the Afghan people; he really enjoyed them,’ Bob Ochsner said of his son. Sgt. Ochsner believed it was his duty to serve in the armed forces, Bob Ochsner said.

“Donald E. Fisher II, 21, of Avon, Mass. An Army corporal from a large military family, he was one of two soldiers killed Nov. 11 when their convoy vehicle was involved in an accident in the northern city of Kirkuk, Iraq. ‘Even as a young child growing up in Brockton, patriotism surged through Donald E. Fisher II,’ wrote the Boston Globe. ‘We’re talking about a kid who, as a kid, cried because someone stole the flag off our flagpole,’ Donald Fisher of Tacoma, Wash., said of his son. ‘He was very committed.’

“James E. Estep, 26, of Leesburg, Fla. An Army staff sergeant and father of three, he was among four soldiers killed when an improvised explosive device detonated last week near their Humvee in Taji, Iraq, north of Baghdad. ‘He loved the military,’ said his brother, Michael. ‘He loved doing his job.’ His sister, Becky Buskill, added: ‘He died for a cause he believed in.’

“Can we bow our heads in union for one day and give thanks for our men and women who choose to fight, refuse to lose, and believe in their mission? Can we do it without distorting their legacies and pandering to anti-American elites worldwide and using their deaths to embarrass and undermine our commander in chief?

“This is my prayer and the start of our new family tradition. In small gestures, deep-rooted gratitude grows.”