Today is a holiday in the United States. Many people think of Memorial Day as the unofficial start of summer. Schools are out (or will soon be) for the year. People begin to think of backyard barbeques and picnics or trips to the lake. For many, Memorial Day is just another three-day weekend.
But that’s not what this day is about. It is a time to honor and remember all Americans who have died in military service.
My husband and I have several family members who have served or are currently serving in the military. Two of my cousins were in Vietnam. My father-in-law was in World War II. My husband’s nephew spent twenty-one years in the US Army. A great-nephew also serves in the Army. He recently returned to the states after a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan.
Fortunately, we haven’t lost an immediate family member to war. But many people, including some I know, have lost loved ones in various wars.
So whether you’re having a backyard cookout or taking a trip to the lake, take a moment to remember those who lost their lives in service to our country.
American Revolutionary War—25,000
War of 1812—15,000
Mexican American War—13,283
American Civil War—625,000
World War I—116,516
World War II—405,399
Persian Gulf War—294
Iraq, Afghanistan, and War against ISIS (2001-present)—6,774
And for those who have died in all other wars