I'm a Pundit Too

Friday, November 9, 2007

Have you thanked a veteran today?

Veterans Day will be observed on Monday, November 12. Sadly for many in the population, Monday will be just another day that the banks and post office will be closed. Most offices will be open for business and the main reminder of what day it is will be the local car dealer will be advertising their annual Veterans Day sale. In our busy lives it becomes easy to forget that men and women have served, fought, and died for the freedoms that we enjoy.

Veterans Day was originally celebrated as Armistice Day. It commemorated the 11th day, of the 11th month that fighting had ended between the Allies and Germany in 1918. The Armistice Day was unofficially remembered until 1926 when November 11 officially became a national holiday. In 1954, Congress officially changed the name to Veterans Day to honor veterans from all branches of service.

Out of the 4.734,991 U.S. troops that fought in World War 1, 116,516 were killed. In World War 2 we had 16,112,566 troops, of which 405,399 died. In the Korean War there was a total of 5,720,000 servicemen, 54,246 did not live through the conflict. During Vietnam, we had 8,744,000 troops and 90,209 died during the war. The Gulf War saw the U.S. troop numbers at 2,225,000 with a total of 2,094 deaths. The above numbers also include deaths not related to combat. Their sacrifice is not lessened by the circumstances involved in their deaths. The U.S. military lists 4,294 deaths since the War on Terror started in October of 2001. These numbers show that nearly 1.2 million servicemen and women have died during wartime since World War 1. This does not take into account the time spent away from loved ones in during times of war and peace. The self sacrifice of these brave men and women of our Armed Forces is truly worthy of hero status.

Some will always squabble over the logic behind any of the wars throughout our history, but the men and women who went and fought should never be forgotten. Every one of the men and women in Iraq, Afghanistan, or anywhere else around the world that they may be stationed, have volunteered for this duty. They have willingly put themselves on the line for the sake of freedom. They do not serve for glory or money, they serve for freedom and honor. All those who serve now or have served in the past are part of a rich heritage of heroic sacrifice. Military life is not easy by any stretch of the imagination, and all of our veterans deserve the recognition and honor that our culture normally bestows upon the self righteous entertainment industry. Over this weekend and throughout next week, search out the veterans in your family and your everyday life, and thank them.

One final note, Saturday, November 10 the United States Marine Corps will celebrate its 232nd birthday. The marines are some of the bravest and toughest men and women on the face of the earth. Semper Fidelis to all of the marines, both past and present. Your nation owes you and all veterans a debt of gratitude for your service. Thank you.

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