I try not to listen to the news, but most days I can't seem to avoid it. Even going for coffee I'll stumble upon the headlines in our local paper. My eyes drift off toward that first page as if it was a new erotic thriller. Human nature, I guess.

We hear about the explosion of bad deeds, both in the name of religion and in the name of some nationalistic cause, and we sometimes wonder who we can trust. Can we trust our world leaders? Do we have to put up with dishonest dealings and back room deals? Do we have to tolerate our fine men and women being sent in to do jobs and then neglect to take care of them after they are back? And do we forget to say thank you?

Oh yes, we do. Our need for the smutty and salacious is overwhelming, like how my eyes wander to the headlines. Truth is, we've been fairly well insulated from most of the bad things of this world because there are men and women who laid down their lives so we could live the life we have, relatively unfettered. I guess that's why I don't like to hear about how bad things are. Things for you and I and most the people reading this post, are pretty darned good. And someone else paid for that freedom. There are those doing it still today.

Every death in battle, every innocent death, every death due to lack of services or neglect or ignorance is one death too many. Today we remember those who fought and died during times of war. It crosses all races and religions, all nationalities, both sexes, all ages, all economic levels and all languages and cultures. Our war heroes and those that support them come home, remembering those who did not. Our uniforms are bloody, our hearts weep, and our flags are frayed. But the cost is worth it.

Something someone once showed me made a big impression, and I guess that's the lesson in today's post. I pass this knowledge on to you, just in case you didn't hear it. For however you may think about what's been going on recently in the war arena, here are some facts you might want to remind yourself of.

You can read the whole article here. It only covers American lives lost during conflicts from the Revolutionary War to today. But here are a couple of startling things to remember. During the first 100 years of our country's existence, 683,000 Americans lost their lives (91% of that during the Civil War). During the last 100 years 626,000 Americans died (WWII being 65% of that figure).

Revolutionary War                25,000

War of 1812                          20,000

Mexican-American War       13,283

Civil War                            625,000
WWI                                   116,516
WWII                                 405,399
Korean War                         36,516
Vietnam War                       58,209
Persian Gulf War                     258
Afghanistan (13 yrs)             2,356
Iraq (9 yrs)                            4,489

Since 1945, the end of WWII, Americans have lost 102,264 lives. Yes, it should be zero. One is too many. We want them all to come home and come home whole. But there's a reason we've lived in relative safety. Our men and women in the military all over the world are the biggest reason. They don't make policy. They do what they're told. And they pay the price for us.

Thank You

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 12 comments
julie beasley - May 24, 2015

Very poignant Sharon ..It's also sad how many have came back with shattered lives

    Sharon Hamilton - May 24, 2015

    It is sad, but they won't be forgotten. The price is high, but not too high. Our freedoms are worth it.

Karen Henderson - May 24, 2015

It's sad how many people have given their lives and are quickly forgotten. Many kids growing up today don't know these numbers cause they aren't taught to respect and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. I wonder every Memorial Day how many of us actually took the time out to remember them
Thank you Sharon

    Sharon Hamilton - May 24, 2015

    I must shamefully admit I did not know these numbers. We have many to remember, and much to be grateful for.

Conchita Quilt - May 24, 2015

🙁 THANK YOU!!! 🙂

J.D. Hart - May 24, 2015

Those numbers are staggering! The cost of freedom is high. I am so thankful to those whom have paid the price. Thank you Sharon for this very poignant post.

    Sharon Hamilton - May 24, 2015

    It is high. But the quality of our world is so much higher…Thanks for stopping by.

Shannon Burdsall - May 24, 2015

Its so heartbreaking the number of lives that have been lost! I am so thankful for the sacrifices these men and women have paid to protect us all!

    Sharon Hamilton - May 25, 2015

    Indeed. And they'd want us to enjoy ourselves. They're smiling every time we thank them, or look at our country's flag and feel proud. Thanks for showing up and supporting our men and women.

Judy - May 24, 2015

Freedom isn't free. God bless those who willingly paid the price with their lives for the rest of us, and may their families be blessed with peace and comfort. My gratitude for them is paltry, but I offer it with a full heart.

    Sharon Hamilton - May 25, 2015

    Judy, I sometimes feel mine is as well. But our full hearts, yes. I'm right there next to you!


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