This holiday is a day when we remember those who have lost their lives as a part of their military service to our country. But that is just the beginning of what we should do….
Courage in the face of danger and opposition
I think of the brutality these men and women suffered and the courageous way they have encountered opposition in the face of certain danger. They remained faithful to our country and their duty despite the harsh, intense risks faced. They paid the dearest price one could pay: loss of life.
When I think of these brave men and women, I realized I did not know just how many have lost their lives in the service of our country during each war we’ve experienced. So, I took moment to investigate how many lives have been lost in the major wars and excursions in which our country fought.
Here is what I found from the Congressional Research Service, U. S. Department of Veteran Affairs, U. S. Department of Defense.
- In the American Revolution 4,435 lives were lost
- In the Civil War 498,332 lives were lost
- In World War I 53,402 lives were lost
- In World War II 291,557 were lost
- In the Korean War 36,574 were lost
- In the Viet Nam War 58,220 were lost
- In the Persian Gulf War 383 lives were lost
- In the Iraq War 4,412 lives were lost
- In the War in Afghanistan to date 2,351 lives were lost
Well over 900,000 lives lost in all of our American wars
This figure does not include all the wounded. Nor does it include those who perished from many other issues that our veterans face. For example, as I have recorded before, deaths by suicide have been significant due to Post-Traumatic Stress…and the list goes on.
I also think it is important to acknowledge the parents, spouses, children and families of our lost Veterans. They, too, have faced despair in the tragedy of loss. Many legacies have been lost in the death of these loved ones.
Memorial Day reminds me how vigilant we need to be to keep our veterans and their families in our priorities as a country and within our communities. There are many good causes on behalf of our veterans and their families for us to pursue.
We really have so much more to do.
I hope you all have a great Memorial Day Holiday and enjoy your families.
Gerry Vassar, President/CEO, Lakeside Educational Network