Memorial Day weekend begins tomorrow. Some folks are spending today finishing up arrangements for the unofficial start of summer. Our families are thinking about what Memorial Day means to the generations who risked their lives to pay for what the rest of the country enjoys.
Less than one percent are willing to pay the price serving today. Only about seven percent were willing to do just that and became our current veterans.
They are not civilians even though they live right next door to you.
America’s Wars Total (1775 -1991)U.S. Military Service during Wartime 41,892,128
Battle Deaths 651,031
Other Deaths (In Theater) 308,800
Other Deaths in Service (Non-Theater) 230,279
Non-mortal Woundings 1,431,290
Living War Veterans 16,962,000
Total will be more than sum of conflicts due to no “end date” established for Persian Gulf War. Source: Department of Defense (DOD), except living veterans, which are VA estimates as of Sep 2010.Living Veterans (Periods of War and Peace) 23,234,000
Those numbers do not include Afghanistan and Iraq. Both still have forces deploying but it is close to 3 million more since 2001.
Those numbers do not show how many have died since that report came out.
Those numbers do not show how many have taken their own lives. Reporters say 22 a day but the VA said that number was from just 21 states taken from limited data. We know it is more but they never asked us. They never asked us about the majority of the veterans being over the age of 50. They never ask us what it was like before they heard about any of this even though we were living with all of it.
Those numbers do not show how many families will spend Monday at the grave of someone they loved or remembering someone they lost.
Those numbers do not show how many veterans struggle with the aftermath of war with disabled bodies and minds that hold the scars.
While we hear about all the claims made about the price of freedom not being free, we understand that is a price we live with everyday and as some want to take their freedoms so lightly they seem to believe they deserve it for just being here, we will honor all those who paid because it was worth paying any price to retain it.
Please do not wish a veteran "Happy Memorial Day" because this is the day for them to honor those they risked their lives with.