On Monday, we will take the day off to honor those who paid the ultimate price for their country. Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13.

Today, I want to share a story about two American heroes who laid down their lives to save their friends. But what they didn’t know is that their sacrifice may have saved tens of millions of others.

On September 11, 2012, terrorists attacked a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, with the objective of killing Ambassador Chris Stevens. The local Libyan militia, hired to defend the outpost, fled. Ambassador Stevens and his small security team found themselves being overrun.

But help was not far away. A mile down the road, a team of elite ex-military contractors, led by former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, was guarding a secret CIA compound. Also in Tripoli, an ex-SEAL named Glen Doherty was organizing a small team of special-forces operators to fly to Benghazi and help the Americans.

Woods and his team were initially ordered to stand down by the CIA station chief. But Woods and his team chose to disobey that order, drive to the outpost and save the Americans. While they were unable to save Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith, they were able to save the rest of the Americans who were under siege.

When they returned to the CIA compound, they fortified the position and fought off attackers all night (with no meaningful help from the U.S. government). Doherty and his team arrived early in the morning to help evacuate the Americans. But sadly, in the last hours of the fighting, Woods and Doherty were killed in a mortar attack. The rest of the operators saved the Americans, getting them safely out of Benghazi — no thanks to Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.

The next day, the people of the United States heard about the attack, the deaths of the four Americans, the amazing valor of the elite operators, and Obama and Clinton’s incredibly incompetent response. Congress appointed Trey Gowdy to lead a committee that would investigate what led to the attack and why the American government’s response was so slow.

During that investigation, Gowdy’s committee found something interesting: Clinton’s grossly negligent handling of highly sensitive emails. By this time, it was election season, and Hillary Clinton was leading by a large margin. But when the people learned about Hillary’s horrible handling of sensitive security matters, her lead took a big hit. While it is difficult to trace the success or failure of an election to a single event, I think the discovery of Hillary’s emails is what gave Donald Trump a fighting chance. And when November of 2016 came, the pundits were shocked as Donald Trump wiped out Hillary Clinton.

During his four years in office, Trump appointed three new justices to the United States Supreme Court. He replaced Antonin Scalia with Neil Gorsuch, who (except for the Bostock case) appears to be a lot like the man he replaced. Trump also replaced Anthony Kennedy, the Court’s swing vote, with Brett Kavanaugh. While Kavanaugh is not as solid as Justices Thomas or Alito, he is far more solid than Kennedy ever was. And when Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away, Trump added Amy Coney Barrett to the bench.

That set the stage for the direct challenge to Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. By now, everybody knows about Politico’s leak of the Court’s draft opinion in Dobbs, which overrules Roe. I believe the final opinion will look much like the leaked one. By the end of this term, God-willing, Roe will be no more.

Since 1973, over 60 million babies have been aborted in the United States. That’s 10 times the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust. While overruling Roe won’t guarantee that abortion itself will end, it will give the states the freedom to ban abortion. Many have been eager to do so.

If Hillary had won in 2016, she would have replaced Scalia, Kennedy, and Ginsburg with solid liberals, leaving only Thomas, Alito, and maybe Roberts in our corner. Our chances of overruling Roe would have been set back maybe another 50 years, perhaps bringing the body count to 120 million. 

But she didn’t win. Trump did. That was because the Benghazi committee discovered Hillary’s emails. And that, in turn, was because Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty laid down their lives to save others.

When Woods and Doherty fought that night, they risked their lives to save a group of Americans numbering less than 100. But they had no idea that their sacrifices that night could have saved not tens, but tens of millions.

Matt Clark is the President of the Alabama Center for Law and Liberty, a conservative nonprofit law firm that fights for limited government, free markets, and strong families in the courts. The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to [email protected].