|

The price of freedom

Since the inception of the United States of America on July 4, 1776 every generation of Americans have been called on to defend freedom and liberty. Over the years more than forty two million American men and women have served their country in time of war. More than a million have secured the blessings of liberty with their lives. Below, are statistics from the Department of Defense detailing the casualties of all the major wars of our countries history. We offer these statistics as proof of the price of freedom.

Conflict Total Deaths

Revolutionary War   4,435

War of 1812   2,260

Mexican War   13,283

Civil War North 364,511

Civil War South 199,110

World War I 116,516

World War II 405,399

Korean War   36,574

Vietnam   58,209

Operation Iraqi Freedom     4,420

In 1966, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y., the “birthplace” of Memorial Day. There, a ceremony on May 5, 1866, honored local veterans who had fought in the Civil War. Businesses closed and residents flew flags at half-staff. Supporters of Waterloo’s claim say earlier observances in other places were either informal, not community-wide or one-time events.

By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.

It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.

To ensure the sacrifices of America ’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579, creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. The commission’s charter is to “encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity” by encouraging and coordinating commemorations in the United States of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance.

The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”

Tags: , ,

Longboat Key News

Leave a Reply