The grills have all cooled down, the hangovers are no longer hanging over, and most of us are back to work. However, since Memorial Day I have been wondering to what degree American’s have given of themselves in order to be memorialize annually by too much alcohol and burnt burgers. And having The grills have all cooled down, the hangovers are no longer hanging over, and most of us are back to work. However, since Memorial Day I have been wondering to what degree American’s have given of themselves in order to be memorialize annually by too much alcohol and burnt burgers. And having thus challenged myself, here are the results.
Since 1775, 848,163 Americans have died in combat. Additionally, another 437,421 have died as the result of non-combat occurrences. That is a grand total of 1,343,812 Americans have given their life for our Country and yhour freedom. On top of that, 1,529,230 Americans have been wounded in war. And I think the bleakest statistic of all, even though the number is the smallest, is that 38,159 Americans are missing. The bulk of those (30,314) went missing in World War II. Can you imagine what it must be like to never know what happened to your loved one, to wonder forever if they are alive or dead?
And then there are the often forgotten casualties of war. I don’t have the numbers but there are countless orphans, widows, widowers, and grieving parents. Their sacrifice and suffering cannot be minimal zed. We give medals and honors to our combat heroes (as well we should) but maybe we should set aside a day to honor those who have lost loved ones. Something besides a folded flag.
But what did they do for us except give us a reason to belch beer and burn our burgers? The obvious answer is freedom. Freedom from what? Freedom to do what? Define freedom? We are free to be ourselves. We are free to believe as we wish. People like Michael Moore are free to tear down this country that provides him the freedom to do exactly that, without fear of reprisal. I wonder how he spent his memorial day. We take our freedoms for granted. I think that we, as Americans, need to stop doing that. I think we need to take the time to realize exactly what we have and where we are and how fortunate we are to be able to live in a country that guarantees us these freedoms.
The point is, let us not forget our war dead. Let is not forgot what they have provided for us by being willing to give all to ensure that the greatest country on earth stays the greatest country on earth. Every day should be Memorial Day. We should remember them every day for what they have given us. Once a year is not enough. But, we can eliminate the beer and burgers. I just don’t get the connection.
Those are my thoughts, what are yours?