Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Veterans’ Cemeteries: Waypoints along the Journey to World Peace



Curious about progress made toward achieving world peace in the past hundred years or so? The statistics are not encouraging.  Take the American people, for example, a cheerful, optimistic, relatively hard working group who believe almost anything is possible if you try hard enough to achieve it.  Then, type in the question, “how many Americans died in combat overseas,” in your favorite search engine, and chances are the answer you’ll get is around 440,000.  This includes all wars fought on foreign soil from the Mexican-American War to the present day Wars on Terrorism (aka Iraq and Afghanistan). It does not include thousands more who lost their lives “in theater” meaning they were in the war zone but not on the battlefield; nor does it include those who died “outside the theater” as the result of war related activities. Why have so many of our men and women in uniform historically put themselves in harm’s way, when the above statistics suggest that death would likely be the outcome?  Is it a sense of honor, patriotism, or duty? Maybe.

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