Lead: For 400 years service men and women have fought to carve out and defend freedom and the civilization we know as America. This series on A Moment in Time is devoted to the memory of those warriors, whose sacrifice gave, in the words of Lincoln at Gettysburg, the last full measure.

Content: In September 1911 Philippine Scout Private Jose B. Nisperos, in extremely violent action against Moros insurgents, became the first Asian to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. That he should be fighting at all at the side of American soldiers in the Philippines emerged from the debate at the highest levels of the US government over whether the United States should become an imperial power. At the conclusion of the Spanish-American war, America received Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines from Spain. Eventually the imperialist argument won because as an emerging power the US saw economic opportunity in East Asia and wished to have a base there.