May 30th marks Memorial Day – a day of remembrance for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their nation. Much has been said about the American service member. Their actions – attributed to love of nation, love of their brothers in arms, or to defend their homeland, have resulted in their loss of life. Their memory lives on through their peers, families, and memorials spread across the country.
It is important to remember that the US has never been alone. The 400,000 service members lost in WWII by the US pales in comparison to the 8.7 – 13.8 million lost by the Russians during the same time period, or the 3 – 4 million lost by the Chinese. At the same time, very few countries which participated in the war walked away unscathed. Even New Zealand lost nearly 12,000 during the battles in the South Pacific.
Memorial Day should be about more than remembering just the people from one nation. Consider the immigrants – people just off the boats who fought in the Civil War. Over 150,000 Irish-Americans fought in the conflict, suffering more than 41% casualties in service of a country they had barely gotten the chance to know. They fought in the Battle of Gettysburg, and helped the Union Army to win the day. During the Korean War, 28 countries served alongside the US during the conflict providing material, medical, or combat support.
Memorial Day is about more than just honoring US citizens. The times when countries fought alone are long past. Conflicts over the last century have demonstrated that not only do service members fight side by side, but service members from different countries serve honorably in the defense of freedom. From conflicts both large and small, memorializing the participants of the conflicts who never returned home is an important step to understanding the sacrifices faced around the world. When conflicts stopped being about an individual country’s profit or gain, and became about ideas (freedom from Nazi rule, freedom against oppression, freedom from terror), the participation increased beyond just those in the US.
This Memorial Day should serve as a reminder that we as a world have faced many problems over the years. That we have come together as nations and overcome these problems through force of arms and the unfortunate loss of life. When we look to each other, we see a world desiring hope and facing adversity to overcome oppression. Wars will always remain political events with two opposing sides identifying themselves as being right. At the end of the day, it is about the service member that is willing to sacrifice themselves, regardless of background or nationality, for what they believe is right. Each and every American has had a part of their life affected by the loss of life of a veteran. The world we live in today is a better place for their sacrifice, and it would do us all good to remember the courage, bravery, and commitment of those individuals who gave everything.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.