Memorial Day {Remembering The Fallen}

memorial day

This past week was a sobering one for me. Our family battled illness a lot last week, but that’s not what made it sobering. For the entirety of the week, I worked on a very special wreath order I had received the week prior. This wreath was made in memory of a Marine who lost his life 11 years ago and will be placed on his headstone today, Memorial Day. The day I mailed out that wreath, another order came in. This one was for yet another Marine who lost his life. With Memorial Day right around the corner and now here, I was in constant reminder of what this day is all about.

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Memorial Day isn’t just a three-day weekend. It isn’t just a day to throw a barbecue or picnic. It isn’t even a day for veterans or active military. (That’s what Veterans’ Day is for.) No, Memorial Day was established so that we, the American people, would never forget the lives that were lost for our great Nation. This day is meant for the memory of the men and women, past and present, who gave all for us.

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I just want to give some numbers to help put perspective on the amount of American military members who died in wars, from the beginning of America:

  • American Revolution (1775-1783) – 4,435
  • War of 1812 (1812-1815) – 2,260
  • Indian Wars (1817-1898) – 1,000
  • Mexican War (1846-1848) – 13,283
  • Civil War (1861-1865) – 498,332
  • Spanish-American War (1998-1902) – 2,446
  • World War I (1917-1918) – 116,516
  • World War II (1941-1945) – 405,399
  • Korean War (1950-1953) – 54,246
  • Vietnam War (1964-1975) – 90,220
  • Desert Shield/Desert Storm (1990-1991) – 1,948
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom – 4,423 (including DoD civilian casualties)
  • Operation New Dawn – 66
  • Operation Enduring Freedom – 2,320 (including DoD civilian casualties)

Just looking at all those numbers is alarming! So many lives lost! Those lives are who today is all about. Please take a moment and remember them. If you can, maybe even go to a local grave site and find the headstones of those who served and died. Thank them for what they did for you and me.

I’ll never forget attending the memorial service for two men in my husband’s unit, who lost their lives in Afghanistan. It was so sad and humbling. You can read about that memorial service {here}.

Please just lift all the parents, wives, husbands, and children who are mourning their losses today. Today isn’t a day of fun and rejoicing for them. It’s a day of mourning and honoring their loved ones.

May we never forget!

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*Casualty report sources: http://www.va.gov/opa/publications/factsheets/fs_americas_wars.pdf and http://www.defense.gov/news/casualty.pdf*

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You can find where I’m linking up {here}.

 

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