As you enjoy your leisure on the first three day weekend of the summer or the last one of the spring, depending on your climate location, please remember to whom this weekend is dedicated. Memorial Day, the day set aside to remember before God those who have given their lives that we might live free in this country. Nothing more and nothing less.
Freedom is not free. The cost is high and measured in rich red blood. It exists not because of the politician handing out rights or money, both of which have been confiscated from the citizenry. It exists not because of pundits and critics. It exists not because of political organizations. Freedom exists because when the country called, red blooded Americans answered that call knowing full well they may lose their lives in her defense. This weekend is dedicated to the remembrance of those who have given their lives that we might live in freedom. They gave their future and that of their families’ to the end that we might have a free today.
Charge your glass, raise it high. Drink to them.
United States Military Casualties
Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
Served: No data
War of 1812 (1812-1815)
Battle Deaths: 2,260
Mexican War (1846-1848)
Battle Deaths: 1,733
Other Deaths: 11,550
Civil War (1861-1865)
Battle Deaths: 140,414
Other Deaths: 224,097
Spanish-American War (1895-1902)
Battle Deaths: 385
Other Deaths: 2,061
World War I (1917-1918)
Battle Deaths: 53,402
Other Deaths: 63,114
World War II (1941-1946)
Battle Deaths: 291,557
Other Deaths: 113,842
Korean War (1950-1953)
Battle Deaths: 33,651
Other Deaths: 3,262
Vietnam War (1964-1973)
Battle Deaths: 47,378
Other Deaths: 10,799
Gulf War (1991)
Afghanistan War (2002-present)
Deaths: 2,449 (as of May 20, 2011)
Iraq War (2003-present)
Deaths: 4,771 (as of May 20, 2011)
Wounded in action: 29,978
And the Cold War, which no one remembers, that claimed so many more.
Source: Department of Defense, United States Central Command, and Iraq Coalition Casualty Count
"THE BIVOUAC OF THE DEAD"
By Theodore O'Hara
The muffled drums sad roll has beat
The soldier's last Tattoo;
No more on life's parade shall meet
That brave and fallen few.
On fame's eternal camping ground
Their silent tents are spread,
But glory guards, with solumn round,
The bivouac of the dead.
No rumor of the foe's advance
Now swells upon the wind;
No troubled thought at midnight haunts
Of loved one's left behind;
No vision of tomorrow, s strife
The warrior's dream alarms;
No braying horn nor screaming fife,
At dawn shall call to arms.
Their shivered swords are red with rust,
Their plumed heads are bowed;
Their haughty banner, trailed in dust,
Is now their martial shroud.
And plenteous funeral tears have washed
The red stains from each brow;
And the proud forms, by battle gashed,
Are free from anguish now.
The neighing troop, the flashing blade,
The bugle's stirring blast,
The charge, the dreadful cannonade,
The din and shouts are past;
Nor war's wild note, nor glory's peal,
Shall thrill with fierce delight
Those breasts that never more may feel
The rapture of the fight.
Rest on, embalmed and sainted dead,
Dear as the blood you gave,
No impious footstep here shall tread
The heritage of your grave;
Nor shall your glory be forgot
While fame her record keeps,
Or honor points the hallowed spot
Where valor proudly sleeps.
Yon marble minstrel's voiceless stone
In deathless song shall tell
When many a vanquished age hath flown,
The story how ye fell;
Nor wreck, nor change, nor winter's blight,
Nor time's remorseless doom,
Shall dim one ray of glory's light
That gilds your deathless tomb.