Remembering those who died serving our country

For many our age, Vietnam was the war of our youth, a conflict that began nearly 60 years ago.

On Memorial Days, we honor those who wore the uniform, and in particular, those who died, in service to our country.

We currently have our soldiers, sailors, and airmen putting their lives on the line in Afghanistan and other parts of the globe, many of them serve at places we don’t know about or for reasons that are never disclosed.

For many our age, Vietnam was the war of our youth, a conflict that began nearly 60 years ago. More than 58.200 names currently appear on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall on the National Mall in Washington, DC, as casualties of that war and the Department of Defense admits the list is not yet complete.

On Memorial Day weekends for many years, many of us rode our motorcycles to the Wall for Rolling Thunder but thought the rides were over with the one last year when the sponsors said they were out of money and the government would no longer participate in planning and logistics.

The AmVets took on the sponsorship and Thunder was on for this year under a new name, Rolling to Remember, until the COVID-19 Coronovirus pandemic turned lives upside down in the United States and the world. AMVETS set up state rides across the country to remember.

With luck, the ride will return next year.

In the meantime, here is a short film remembering Vietnam that I put together in 2012, the 50th Anniversary of the “official declaration” of that conflict.

On this Memorial Day, here are some there statistics to remember:

16,112,566 – Number of US troops that served in the conflict.
670,846 – Number of US wounded.
US Deaths:
Battle: 291,557
Non-Battle: 113,842
Total In-Theatre: 405,399
US Troops Statistics in the Korean War:
Source: Dept. of Defense
US Deaths:
Hostile: 33,739
Non-Hostile: 2,835
Total In-Theatre: 36,574
US Wounded in Action – 103,284

Other things to note about American service casualties:

Approximately 620,000 soldiers died from combat, accident, starvation, and disease during the Civil War. This number comes from an 1889 study of the war performed by William F. Fox and Thomas Leonard Livermore. Both men fought for the Union. Their estimate is derived from an exhaustive study of the combat and casualty records generated by the armies over five years of fighting.  A recent study puts the number of dead as high as 850,000. Roughly 1,264,000 American soldiers have died in the nation’s wars–620,000 in the Civil War and 644,000 in all other conflicts.

This is Memorial Day. Let’s remember and honor those served and died.

“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” — Winston Churchill.

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