11th Hour, 11th Day, 11th Month

Posted on November 11, 2013

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Happy Veterans Day! I’ve already taken advantage of the free parking in Downtown San Diego and enjoying leaving late for work and still getting here on time because nobody is on the road. Hooray! I don’t personally have many family members involved in the military, but in attending SDSU and by living in military-friendly San Diego, I’ve come into contact with many who have served in the United States’ armed forces. To them, I say, thank you for your service. You walk the Earth having sacrificed much time and energy to protect others, and wholly deserve our respect and gratitude.

The American Cemetery at Normandy

Veterans Day originally came into being as Armistice Day, a holiday commemorating the end of hostilities and the conclusion of World War I on November 11, 1918. Germany signed an armistice (hence the name) with the Allies, bringing the bloodiest war up to that point in human history to a close. World War I claimed nearly 18 million lives, two-thirds of which could be attributed to increasingly advanced technologies employed – poison gas, machine guns, airplanes, etc. The world had witnessed bloodshed and horror on a global scale, something nearly unprecedented til that point.

Today marks the 95th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice. It took years of waste and destruction to come to the Great War’s conclusion, and even after that, it left a multitude of unresolved tensions in its wake, which in turn boiled over into the Second World War.

Our veterans in those conflicts saw humanity at its worst and strove to right the wrongs.

Here are the death tolls for America’s major conflicts since 1775:

  • The Revolutionary War – 8000 Americans died
  • The War of 1812 – 2260 Americans died
  • The Mexican-American War – 1733 Americans died
  • The Civil War – 214,938 Americans died
  • The Spanish-American War – 385 Americans died
  • World War I – 53,402 Americans died
  • World War II – 291,557 Americans died
  • The Korean War (1951-1953) – 33,686 Americans died
  • The Vietnam War (1955-1975) – 47,424 Americans died
  • The Iraq War (2003-2011) – 3,527 Americans died
  • The Afghanistan War (2001-Present) – 1,742 Americans died, and counting…

Whether you supported the wars or not, take a moment of silence to honor the American men and women who sacrificed everything.

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Posted in: Foreign Affairs