U.S. Civil War
3,273,000 served, and over 620,000 died.
The Gettysburg National Cemetery was dedicated by President Abraham Lincoln four months after the Battle there. Lincoln's speech lasted two minutes, but it went into history as the one of the greatest speeches of all time.
"Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.
We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion
that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain
that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom
and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
World War I
Over 4,000,000 served, and more than 110,000 died. The conflict ended on November 11, 1918.
The United States has honored all veterans since November 11, 1918, the date the armistice with Germany went in to effect. This day was called Armistice Day until 1954, when it became Veterans Day. (Officially, there is no apostrophe in Veterans Day....)
World War II
16 million Americans served, more than 407,000 died. The total deaths for WWII worldwide were more than 60 million.
5,720,000 Americans served, more than 36,000 died. American troops are still there, protecting the DMC from the unstable North Koreans.
Almost 3 million Americans served and more than 58,000 died. The Vietnam War was the last American war with conscription.
Persian Gulf War
Over 540,000 served, more than 280 died.
Over a million served and serve in Iraq and almost 5,000 have died to-date.
Over a million served and serve in Afghanistan, and almost 2,400 have died to-date.
War is no way to solve a conflict. Haven't we learned anything?
To each and every veteran, and their families, I honor you and thank you for your courage, your bravery and your service.