- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 26, 2000

Four-year-old Cailin Mayo ignored the cold April rain yesterday as she placed yellow roses on the grave of the grandfather she never knew.
At her side at Arlington National Cemetery, in only his shirtsleeves and apparently oblivious of the weather, was her father, Douglas Mayo of Roseville, Mich. He is one of four sons of Air Force Tech Sgt. Joel C. Mayo, who was being honored.
Sgt. Mayo was 34 years old when he and seven comrades died exactly 20 years ago during an aborted mission to rescue 53 American hostages in Iran.
Ultimately, the hostages were freed. Yesterday, nearly a dozen were among 200 friends, relatives and servicemen most standing instead of sitting on wet folding chairs to honor the fallen heroes in a remembrance ceremony.
"They gave their lives that others might be free," said Lt. Gen. James B. Vaught in a prayer during the ceremony about 100 yards from the Tomb of the Unknowns.
Gen. Vaught was one of the commanders of the Iran Rescue Mission code-named Eagle Claw.
"Eagle Claw was one of the most daring [rescue missions]," said Gen. Henry H. Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"The sheer audacity of it," Gen. Shelton said, focused on bravery and indomitable spirit.
Unexpected aircraft failures had caused commanders to abort the rescue mission. At the site called Desert One, the rotary blade of a helicopter containing three Marines hit the fuselage of a C-130 transport plane. Both aircraft burst into flames.
The Marines died instantly. On the C-130, the captain, though mortally wounded, stayed at his post, directing the other occupants to evacuate. Three crew members remained and died trying to rescue the captain. Sgt. Mayo, the flight engineer, performed his duties of fire control so others might escape until it was too late to save his own life.
Former hostage Richard Morefield said the deaths of the five airmen and three Marines "profoundly changed my life."
Without their unselfish and heroic actions, Mr. Morefield said he could not have escorted his daughter down the wedding aisle or watched a son graduate from high school.
He said the heroes demonstrated three kinds of love.
"Love of country was exemplified by them," he said, followed closely by love of family so important to America, and love of friends since several of the heroes died while trying to save their comrades.
The memorialized heroes are Marines: Sgt. John D. Harvey, 21, of Roanoke; Cpl. George N. Holmes Jr., 22, of Pine Bluff, Ark.; Staff Sgt. Dewey L. Johnson, 31, of Dublin, Ga.; and airmen: Capt. Charles T. McMillan II, 28, of Corryton, Tenn.; Capt. Lyn D. McIntosh, 33, of Valdosta, Ga.; Maj. Richard L. Bakke, 33, of Long Beach, Calif.; Sgt. Mayo, of Harrisville, Mich.; and Maj. Harold L. Lewis Jr., 35, of Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
"My father was proud to be an American," said Lauren Beth Harvey, 21, daughter of Sgt. Harvey.
Miss Harvey choked back sobs as she led the audience in the "No Greater Love Pledge of Peace," which was written in 1985 for children. It concludes, "I promise to do everything I can to help create a common future of peace and justice for all human beings."
The pledge has been recited over the past 15 years by "hundreds of thousands of youngsters throughout the world," said Angelo Bianco, president of the Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association who introduced Miss Harvey.
No Greater Love, a nonprofit organization that sponsored yesterday's program, has conducted scores of remembrance programs, during the last 20 years, for Americans who died in service to their country, or as victims of terrorists.

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