Today is Memorial Day...a day, that for many of us, means BBQ's, family and a 3 day weekend. Many of us have not been touched by war or death. I myself only have my father and grandfathers who were part of the military during the Vietnam War and World War II. They went into battle and returned alive. They have stories to tell that fascinate and thrill me.
Now, I have friends whose husbands are overseas. Some once, some twice, some even three times. I can't imagine what it is like to be home, with the kids, for months and months, worrying about my spouse fighting in a war that I often forget we are part of still. Am I ignorant? Am I lazy? Do I not care? Of course I care.. I read the newspaper and watch the news, but not everyday. I have noticed that news of our current war (in Iraq and Afghanistan) is rarely mentioned. I'm thinking this is because our military is more precise in it's bombing (have you been watching "America: The Story of Us" on History Channel? Fascinating. We've gone from 50% accuracy in WWII to 95% accuracy). Our military isn't actively fighting a large military as we occupy these countries.
Please, no hate here. I love our men and women who serve our country. I am proud that they are the brave and have chosen this profession. That they have made the sacrifice to be sent overseas, away from their families. I cry every time I see a news report showing our military persons leaving or coming home. It's not a life I would choose, but I would be proud if I was a part of it.
The point of my Memorial Day post (which went so much better in my head before I started typing) was to share the military statistics I recently read in the the USA Today. Numbers I had absolutely no clue of.
U.S. war involvement in months:
Afghanistan - 105
Vietnam War - 104
Iraq - 86
Revolutionary War - 81
Civil War - 48
World War II - 44
Can you believe that we have been in Afghanistan for 105 months as of June 7th?? We are such a different generation than those that grew up during Vietnam. We don't protest. We are too busy trying to rebuild our lives, here, with the housing market downturn and unemployment. I, personally, believe that there is less protesting because the death toll is so much lower.
U.S. deaths by war:
Civil War - 625,000
World War II - 405,399
Vietnam War - 58,209
Revolutionary War - 25,000
Iraq - 4391
Afghanistan - 1000
This information surprised me. I feel like I've been hiding in a hole in my little corner of the world. It's safe and I wanted to take this moment to THANK every man and woman who has served or is serving in our military. For every person who has made the sacrifice to make and keep the U.S. a free place that I know I take for granted.
Happy Memorial Day!! I hope you had a wonderful time BBQing with your families (that is what I did today) and maybe take a moment to reflect on how safe and wonderful your corner of the world is today.