Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The War Dead


While it may be a lauded American tradition to take to the woods with our RV's, barbecues, and beer over the Memorial Day weekend, this year, according to the AAA three percent less of us actually did so.  Perhaps it was the weather, the high price of gas, or simply our 21st Century disconnect from the outdoors, but AAA was right, the campgrounds were ghost towns this weekend.  What were hopping though, were the  postage-stamp sized cemetery's of our rural communities.  This weekend those tiny memorials overflowed with blooms, family's, and babes in arms being taught to pay their respects.  I saw clutches of older men in lawn chairs circling the grave site of a lost war buddy and mothers and daughters standing silent at the foot of their solider husbands and fathers.  

We are a military-driven industrial complex.  For whatever reasons we have, as a culture, become decidedly and increasingly violent in our approach to globalization and the procurement and protection of our way of life.  We pay for these things in people.

The American Military War Dead:

Major U.S. War CasualtiesU.S. DeathsWoundedDate
Iraq War4,80031,9652003 – 2011
Afghanistan1,8039,9712001 – Present
Gulf War2588491990 – 1991
Vietnam War58,209153,3031955 – 1975
Korean War36,51692,1341950 – 1953
World War II405,399670,8461941 – 1945
World War I116,516204,0021917 – 1918
Civil War625,000281,8811861 – 1865
American Revolutionary War25,00025,0001775 – 1783
All U.S. Conflict CasualitesU.S DeathsWoundedMissing
Grand Total1,343,8121,529,23038,159