Grateful for the courage of the fallen.

Memorial Day is formerly known as Decoration Day, which was first recorded to have been observed by Freedmen (freed enslaved southern blacks) in Charleston, South Carolina in 1865, at the Washington Race Course, to remember the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War. Today, what is now known as Memorial Day, is a day of reflection and recognition to commemorate all U.S. Service Members who died while in military service.

Our nation has lost many heroes on the field of battle:

  • Civil War (1861-1865): 72,524 soldiers killed in action
  • Spanish-American War (1898-1902): 385 soldiers killed in action
  • World War I (U.S. involvement 1917-1918): 53,402 soldiers killed in action
  • World War II (1940-1945): 291,557 soldiers killed in action
  • Korean War (1950-1953): 33,741 soldiers killed in action
  • Vietnam War (1964-1975): 47,424 soldiers killed in action
  • Gulf War (1990-1991): 147 soldiers killed in action
  • Global War on Terror (2001-present): 5,921 U.S. soldiers killed in action [source]

I am grateful for those who courageously laid down their lives for the freedoms I enjoy (and often take for granted). We trust, like Augustine wrote, that the ultimate purpose for war is for peace.

photo © stock.xchng contributor theoneill

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