Memorial Day 2007: Remember...

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"Only in winter can you tell which trees are truly green. Only when the winds of adversity blow can you tell whether an individual or a country has steadfastness."


"My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."


"My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."


"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men."


   --- John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Our 35th President, 1961-1963


"It is rather for us the living... that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation 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."


   --- Abraham Lincoln, Our 16th President, 1861-1865

Memorial Day weekend is upon us. Last year I wrote about some of the stories within stories about the why and the how we celebrate it; that column can be found at (

https://experts.longisland.com/veterans/archive_article.php?ExpArtID=2312

).

This year, just a reminder -- Memorial Day is one of remembrance.

Remember the...

American Revolution (1775-1783) and the 4,435 killed and 6,188 wounded.

War of 1812 (1812-1815) and the 2,260 killed and 4,505 wounded.

Indian Wars (circa 1817-1898) and the 1,000 killed and unknown number of wounded.

Mexican War (1846-1848) and the 13,283 killed and 4,152 wounded.

Civil War (1861-1865) and the 524,332 killed and 286,881 wounded.

Spanish-American War (1898-1902) and the 2,446 killed and 1,662 wounded.

WW I (1917-1918) and the 116,516 killed and 204,002 wounded.

WW II (1941-1945) and the 405,399 killed and 671,846 wounded.

Korea (1950-1953) and the 36,574 killed and 103,284 wounded.

Viet Nam (1964-1975) and the 58,249 killed and 304,000 wounded.

Desert Shield / Storm (1990-1991) and the 382 killed and 467 wounded.

Afghanistan "OEF" (2001- ???) and the so far 387 killed and 1,250 wounded.

Iraq "OIF" (2003- ???) and the so far 3,438 and over 25,378 wounded.

After you remember, do not hesitate to ask yourself...

Why?

And then...

"If you are able, save for them a place inside of you and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go. Be not ashamed to say you loved them, though you may or may not have always. Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own. And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind..."


   --- Major Michael Davis O'Donnell, 1 January 1970, Dak To, Vietnam, Listed as KIA February 7, 1978


--- Regards, Walt Schmidt