Memorial Day, Remember the 1.3 Million

I awoke one morning with a clarity of mind and knowledge I had not possessed before.  I realized something about my three children:  they will serve in the Army.

My ten year old daughter brought home the “newspaper” she published in school and for a fill-in-the-blanks article she wrote: When I grow up I want to be in the Army.  And my teen wears my old jungle boots because they’re her favorite shoes. At a West Point parade, our cousin asked my twelve year old son where he wanted to go to college.  He looked at the grassy plain where the cadets marched and said, “Here.”

For my children, there’s no escaping the military influences in their lives.  Both of us are U.S. Military Academy graduates who take our children to Army Football games every fall.

We left the Army and work in other careers, but many classmates are senior officers now.  Kenny Mintz commanded the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division and is on campaign in Afghanistan, again. His former soldier was killed in action last month in Afghanistan, Sergeant Shawn Farrell II (Link to article).

On Memorial Day, we remember those who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. For many Americans this means a three day weekend, for some, a parade and visit to the local cemetery to honor these men and women.  For Kenny and those serving, the experience is something they live every day.

In SGT Farrell’s case, it means losing a soldier, a friend, a son, and a husband.

I used to be troubled when people asked if I would “let” my daughters join the army.  But after attending an Ivy league graduation and observing the all-about-me culture, I realized there are few better choices my child can make (Earlier post:  Yale Commencement – Awards For Everyone)

It is good to serve something larger than ourselves, working in the military service or mission work or civil service.  I can testify to the wide-held belief among aging veterans that their service is what they are most proud of.

A list follows of American War Deaths Through History, those like SGT Farrell who paid the ultimate price for our country.

The Civil War accounts for almost half the war deaths in our nation’s history with 623,026 casualties. And since the Revolutionary War, over 1.3 million Americans sacrificed their lives so that we can enjoy the individual liberties and freedom of this great country.

This gives us perspective and is worth remembering.

American War Deaths Through History

About mylinhshattan

I’m a writer who has worked in the private sector, taught at college, and served in the U.S. Army. I hold a B.S. in Mathematics from West Point, an M.B.A. from Florida Southern College, and an M.F.A. in Writing from Queens University.