A nation which forgets it’s defenders, will itself be forgotten.”  -Calvin Coolidge

 

Happy Memorial Day!

To all of my fellow Americans, I wish you a Happy Memorial Day!  I know all of my visitors do not come from America, but even if you’re from some place else, you could still join us today in remembering the fallen members of your armed forces.  No peace loving nation in the world could achieve that dream without the men and women who stand up and put their life on the line to secure and defend their freedom and way of life.

Freedom isn’t Free

People like to say this when they are feeling patriotic, or when they want to show support for the troops, but I’m not sure how many people really take the time to ponder what the cost is.  A quick Google search led me to Wikipedia, where I found that the United States has lost a total of 1,343,812 service members since 1775.  848,163 were killed in direct combat action.  It doesn’t go on to explain all of the other deaths, but people die in war zones all the time of non-enemy related incidents.  War-zones are inherently dangerous places, and a hostile round isn’t the only way a person’s number comes up.  Lets take a moment of silence, say a prayer, or whatever you do to make sacred time in remembrance of all of our troops who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Someone Else is Likely Paying Your Tab

An interesting point I noticed was the percentage of casualties per % of the population for each major conflict.  In the Civil War 1.988% of our population was killed.  The Revolutionary War saw us lose .899%, and in World War II  we lost .307%.  With the percentages for all other conflicts ranging from .006-.345.  In the current War on Terror we have lost 0.002% of our population.  There are many factors that explain this, but it is still striking to note the difference in what percentage of the population has borne the cost of war for our generation.

Today should be about more than cookouts and flag ceremonies.  It should make you think about what it is you’re doing with the freedom and the way of life that was paid for by the blood of others.  Most of those people were young, in the prime of their life, and when they stood up to enlist, they had a period of time when they considered the fact that they may not go back home alive, then they raised their right hand and said their oath.  If they can show that kind of commitment and follow through with it, you should honor them by living your best life, and not wasting the gift of time you’ve been given.

To all of my fellow Veterans, I’d like to offer a hearty thank-you, and a Semper Fi!

 

And to everyone else, I’ll leave you with these two words.

Never Forget!