We hear a lot about Memorial Day Weekend being “the unofficial start of summer.” It’s a time for family outings, outdoor barbeques, retail sale extravaganzas, etc. This misses the point.
Memorial Day, which falls on the last Monday in May each year, is to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country during combat. As I’ve written before, veterans often say those who died were heroes. I’d argue all who serve are heroes. Using the veterans’ definition, let’s look at the numbers* of those who died in combat:
Revolutionary War: 4,435
War of 1812: 2,260
Indian Wars: 1,000
Mexican War: 13,283
Civil War: 498,332
Spanish-American War: 2,446
World War I: 116,516
World War II: 405,399
Korean War: 54,246
Vietnam War: 90,220
Persian Gulf War: 1,565
Global War On Terror: 6,852 (as of May 2015)
This means nearly 1.3 million veterans have died in combat. We have a lot of people and their families to express our gratitude to. Note: These figures don’t include those who were wounded in combat.
Today, I honor those who died in combat and thank them for their sacrifice to our great nation.
* Source: Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs
Thought for the week:
“For those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, we are grateful that such men and women were among us. For those who continue to serve, we honor their commitment. For those who return to civilian life, we honor their service.” – Steve Buyer
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