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(Marketwatch)   Honor Memorial Day by remembering those who sacrificed their lives in America's 10 deadliest wars   (marketwatch.com) divider line 87
    More: Hero, Memorial Day, deadliest wars  
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4124 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 May 2014 at 7:05 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-05-26 01:02:00 AM  
acelebrationofwomen.org
 
2014-05-26 01:20:54 AM  
My grandfathers and two guncles served in WWI, father and five uncles in WWII and Korea, and assorted nephews and nieces in the Gulf War and the GWOT.

Not a one of them got a Purple Heart.  They all walked out alive and more or less in one piece.

Weird.

/dad navigated B-17's out of northern Italy
//the rest of them had to rough it
///god bless America
 
2014-05-26 06:56:48 AM  
Years ago I had the honor of meeting an old GI who was in the second wave at Utah Beach and fought all the way to Berlin.

Truly America's greatest generation.
 
2014-05-26 07:16:32 AM  

Hardy-r-r: Years ago I had the honor of meeting an old GI who was in the second wave at Utah Beach and fought all the way to Berlin.

Truly America's greatest generation.


The last generation of real Americans.

RIP, America.
 
2014-05-26 07:18:36 AM  
news.bbc.co.uk

Respect.
 
2014-05-26 07:18:48 AM  
My paternal grandfather and two of his brothers fought in WWII, and my maternal grandfather fought in Korea. They all served honorably and thankfully came home alive.
 
2014-05-26 07:26:49 AM  

BarryTheMasterOfSandwich: The last generation of real Americans.

RIP, America.


No argument here.
 
2014-05-26 07:28:58 AM  
And the one where the most were killed? When we fought ourselves.
 
2014-05-26 07:31:01 AM  
I visited Fort Recovery to remember the biggest defeat of American forces, St. Clair's Defeat.
 
2014-05-26 07:32:36 AM  

ghare: And the one where the most were killed? When we fought ourselves.


Just wait. Civil War II will probably go nuclear.
 
2014-05-26 07:41:16 AM  

ghare: And the one where the most were killed? When we fought ourselves.


We picked the perfect time in changing technology to create a slaughter on the battlefield.  The first major conflict to utilize the rifled barrel, the ability to direct armies at the strategic level with the telegraph, and move troops with railroads.  Nobody was really prepared to adapt to the new era of warfare.

The telegraph is really under-appreciated as a tool of change.  Think about this - until the advent of the telegraph, information could not travel faster than you were physically capable of moving.  You could get the fastest horse, the fastest ship, the fastest train - but you still are limited by how fast a person could move across the earth.

Now change that to where a signal can be sent as fast as an electrical signal.  While the last sixty years have seen revolutions in the efficiency and mass capability of communication, remember this:  No single invention has been responsible for a proportional increase in the raw speed of information.  Everything else has been incremental in comparison.
 
2014-05-26 07:47:31 AM  
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all of those who served. If you feel compelled to write the name of someone who lost their life due to military service i would love to just read their names and privately thank them.
 
2014-05-26 07:48:38 AM  
While my brother isn't allowed to tell me what he did in Afghan, I salute that it was him getting off his ass and doing something that got me moving in my personal life.

4th Generation navy guy he is. Only real bodily harm we've had in times of conflict was my uncle getting a screwdriver to the eye (freak accident when something exploded against the ship, launched him and the 'driver forward), but he still uses that eye to this day. Fark yeah.
 
2014-05-26 07:48:43 AM  

Ecobuckeye: I visited Fort Recovery to remember the biggest defeat of American forces, St. Clair's Defeat.


It's interesting how the Indian wars always get somehow magically overlooked on "patriotism" days. I guess it's uncomfortable to remember that the main point of the U.S. military until the late 1800s was to subjugate Native Americans.
 
2014-05-26 07:55:54 AM  
i.imgur.com
 
2014-05-26 07:56:03 AM  

eiger: Ecobuckeye: I visited Fort Recovery to remember the biggest defeat of American forces, St. Clair's Defeat.

It's interesting how the Indian wars always get somehow magically overlooked on "patriotism" days. I guess it's uncomfortable to remember that the main point of the U.S. military until the late 1800s was to subjugate Native Americans.


The Lenape had already been moved west once (out of New Jersey and New York), so they were already getting tired of that shiat. But Blue Jacket got a hockey team named after him, so it's all good.
 
2014-05-26 07:57:00 AM  
The biggest enemies before World War 2 were disease and infection.
 
2014-05-26 07:59:06 AM  

eiger: Ecobuckeye: I visited Fort Recovery to remember the biggest defeat of American forces, St. Clair's Defeat.

It's interesting how the Indian wars always get somehow magically overlooked on "patriotism" days. I guess it's uncomfortable to remember that the main point of the U.S. military until the late 1800s was to subjugate Native Americans.


That was a big part of the Ta-Nehisi Coates article in Atlantic (the Fark thread on "The Case for Reparations capped out at about 850 comments).  One of the article's big points was, we embrace Washington and the Founding Fathers and all the good parts about American history, but slavery, Indian displacement/removal/genocide, violence committed against workers during Gilded Age labor disputes, sharecropping, and any number of other atrocities in our history?  We sweep those under the rug and say, "that was a long time ago."

/I would love for the Army to conduct a thorough investigation of every Medal of Honor issued during the Indian Wars and formally revoke a large portion of them, particularly the ones that were issued for things like soldiers finding natives hiding in gullies and wiping them out when one of them raised a gun to defend themselves.
 
2014-05-26 08:03:16 AM  

UNC_Samurai: /I would love for the Army to conduct a thorough investigation of every Medal of Honor issued during the Indian Wars and formally revoke a large portion of them, particularly the ones that were issued for things like soldiers finding natives hiding in gullies and wiping them out when one of them raised a gun to defend themselves.


Not nitpicking, genuinely curious - for Mdeal of Honor recipients, do they keep detailed info on how/why they earned them that far back? I know for WW2 and beyond there's a significant amount of paper trails and the like, but was it more complicated back during 'The Indian Wars'?
 
2014-05-26 08:07:27 AM  

Capo Del Bandito: You *do* know their active orders weren't 'shoot the Red skins on sight!" right?


Except when they were called out to slaughter natives who, having been enslaved and starved by local white settlers, committed the heinous crime of daring to attack settlers who were raping their girls.

/And we named forts and parks after their commander.
 
2014-05-26 08:09:31 AM  

UNC_Samurai: Capo Del Bandito: You *do* know their active orders weren't 'shoot the Red skins on sight!" right?

Except when they were called out to slaughter natives who, having been enslaved and starved by local white settlers, committed the heinous crime of daring to attack settlers who were raping their girls.

/And we named forts and parks after their commander.


I'm not saying it didn't happen. I'm not a history revisionist. I'm talking about how often it did happen vs didn't happen. It's a long period of time. There were a lot of war crimes committed simply because there was no oversight. It was the 'Wild West" and all that. But i'm also saying it didn't happen on a daily basis over that 150 years or so.
 
2014-05-26 08:10:36 AM  

Capo Del Bandito: UNC_Samurai: /I would love for the Army to conduct a thorough investigation of every Medal of Honor issued during the Indian Wars and formally revoke a large portion of them, particularly the ones that were issued for things like soldiers finding natives hiding in gullies and wiping them out when one of them raised a gun to defend themselves.

Not nitpicking, genuinely curious - for Mdeal of Honor recipients, do they keep detailed info on how/why they earned them that far back? I know for WW2 and beyond there's a significant amount of paper trails and the like, but was it more complicated back during 'The Indian Wars'?


The easiest way to go is talk to these folks:

http://www.cmohs.org/society-contact.php


Very, very good people and fantastic about helping out in research.
 
2014-05-26 08:12:17 AM  
How about we honor them by not sending kids to die in pointless wars?
 
2014-05-26 08:12:38 AM  

AtlanticCoast63: Capo Del Bandito: UNC_Samurai: /I would love for the Army to conduct a thorough investigation of every Medal of Honor issued during the Indian Wars and formally revoke a large portion of them, particularly the ones that were issued for things like soldiers finding natives hiding in gullies and wiping them out when one of them raised a gun to defend themselves.

Not nitpicking, genuinely curious - for Mdeal of Honor recipients, do they keep detailed info on how/why they earned them that far back? I know for WW2 and beyond there's a significant amount of paper trails and the like, but was it more complicated back during 'The Indian Wars'?

The easiest way to go is talk to these folks:

http://www.cmohs.org/society-contact.php


Very, very good people and fantastic about helping out in research.


Well you've given me a way to kill time this afternoon. Thank ye.
 
2014-05-26 08:13:48 AM  

pippi longstocking: How about we honor them by not sending kids to die in pointless wars?


Yes yes, and the majority of the North thought the Civil War was a 'pointless war' until Lincoln's second term and in a way to 'rally the troops' he made it about freeing the slaves.

All wars are pointless until you put them in a historical context of 'good vs evil'. It all depends on the outcome.
 
2014-05-26 08:14:38 AM  

Capo Del Bandito: UNC_Samurai: /I would love for the Army to conduct a thorough investigation of every Medal of Honor issued during the Indian Wars and formally revoke a large portion of them, particularly the ones that were issued for things like soldiers finding natives hiding in gullies and wiping them out when one of them raised a gun to defend themselves.

Not nitpicking, genuinely curious - for Mdeal of Honor recipients, do they keep detailed info on how/why they earned them that far back? I know for WW2 and beyond there's a significant amount of paper trails and the like, but was it more complicated back during 'The Indian Wars'?


There are citations, after-actions reports, and often additional reports, diary entries, and other pieces of writing.  A thorough investigation of every citation, by a team of a dozen researchers with an adequate budget would probably take 2-3 years.  I wrote up a preliminary budget proposal for a grad school class, and I ballparked it at just under $5 million, and based on my quick and very dirty sample size, you would likely find ~50% of citations would need to be very heavily reviewed, with ~20% of citations ultimately requiring revocation.

/It won't happen any time soon, neither the Army, the DoD, nor the Congresscritters would be real happy with the project.
 
2014-05-26 08:17:22 AM  

Capo Del Bandito: pippi longstocking: How about we honor them by not sending kids to die in pointless wars?

Yes yes, and the majority of the North thought the Civil War was a 'pointless war' until Lincoln's second term and in a way to 'rally the troops' he made it about freeing the slaves.

All wars are pointless until you put them in a historical context of 'good vs evil'. It all depends on the outcome.


You're kinda off by a few centuries man. And by that logic the shiat that I just took will one day have a butterfly effect of getting us to Alpha Centauri. True story!
 
2014-05-26 08:18:41 AM  

UNC_Samurai: I wrote up a preliminary budget proposal for a grad school class, and I ballparked it at just under $5 million, and based on my quick and very dirty sample size, you would likely find ~50% of citations would need to be very heavily reviewed, with ~20% of citations ultimately requiring revocation.


So....would it be possible to see this budget proposal?

I do recognize that a lot of historical figures get romanticized, but I'd be genuinely interested in checking out reality vs propaganda and the like.

Some folks like Dakota Meyer, http://badassoftheweek.com/index.cgi?archive=1&newcid=535195528147&cu r rcount=109  , deserve recognition, even if their exploits are overblown (can't say for sure, have to rely on paperwork from the front). But a 'fact check' of established history is quite an interesting idea.
 
2014-05-26 08:19:35 AM  

pippi longstocking: You're kinda off by a few centuries man. And by that logic the shiat that I just took will one day have a butterfly effect of getting us to Alpha Centauri. True story!


...I used that as a point of reference, not a 'be all end all'. ALL wars are defined after the fact, or did you miss that in European History 101 at your community college?
 
2014-05-26 08:23:25 AM  
I'm glad they mentioned the large number of civil war prisoner deaths. I had two die that way. One died when the prison she was in collapsed. The other was lynched by Union troopers.
 
2014-05-26 08:23:33 AM  

Capo Del Bandito: UNC_Samurai: Capo Del Bandito: You *do* know their active orders weren't 'shoot the Red skins on sight!" right?

Except when they were called out to slaughter natives who, having been enslaved and starved by local white settlers, committed the heinous crime of daring to attack settlers who were raping their girls.

/And we named forts and parks after their commander.

I'm not saying it didn't happen. I'm not a history revisionist. I'm talking about how often it did happen vs didn't happen. It's a long period of time. There were a lot of war crimes committed simply because there was no oversight. It was the 'Wild West" and all that. But i'm also saying it didn't happen on a daily basis over that 150 years or so.


Daily basis, no - warfare in general is, endless stretches of interminate boredom interrupted by brief moments of sheer terror, and 19th century frontier warfare takes that to a whole other level.  But to a certain extent I'd contest the "Wild West" concept of lack of oversight.  American government and military apparatuses were there to protect settlers and pacify natives.  Other than your occasional irrational officer like Custer, no, they weren't actively going out and wiping out natives.  But policy towards natives was at best still more than just turning a blind eye to local-level decisions like Lyon against the Pomo, or Forsyth at Wounded Knee.  The federal government did practice a policy of escalation against western natives; for example, federal agents actively ignored policy about unauthorized settlement of Lakota territory.  The attitude seems to be, "to hell with them and if they complain, we'll shoot them."
 
2014-05-26 08:24:44 AM  

Capo Del Bandito: AtlanticCoast63: Capo Del Bandito: UNC_Samurai: /I would love for the Army to conduct a thorough investigation of every Medal of Honor issued during the Indian Wars and formally revoke a large portion of them, particularly the ones that were issued for things like soldiers finding natives hiding in gullies and wiping them out when one of them raised a gun to defend themselves.

Not nitpicking, genuinely curious - for Mdeal of Honor recipients, do they keep detailed info on how/why they earned them that far back? I know for WW2 and beyond there's a significant amount of paper trails and the like, but was it more complicated back during 'The Indian Wars'?

The easiest way to go is talk to these folks:

http://www.cmohs.org/society-contact.php


Very, very good people and fantastic about helping out in research.

Well you've given me a way to kill time this afternoon. Thank ye.


As far as I know, the Medal of Honor was created at the time of the Civil War.  There were none awarded during the Indian Wars which really weren't wars.  No war was ever declared against an Indian tribe.
 
2014-05-26 08:25:34 AM  

Mid_mo_mad_man: I'm glad they mentioned the large number of civil war prisoner deaths. I had two die that way. One died when the prison she was in collapsed. The other was lynched by Union troopers.


I had two ancestors
 
2014-05-26 08:27:59 AM  

UNC_Samurai: The federal government did practice a policy of escalation against western natives; for example, federal agents actively ignored policy about unauthorized settlement of Lakota territory. The attitude seems to be, "to hell with them and if they complain, we'll shoot them."


Wouldn't that be more about budgets than restraints based on empathy/giving a shiat about the natives? Going to war with a local tribe, worrying about collateral damage vs the 'keeping the people safe' idea? Not to be a pessimistic type, but I imagine they only called for a full on troop movement would be when there was a public uprising/concern/complaint and/or if they felt borders and the like were truly threatened?

I imagine bean counters back then were more worried about expenditure than 'Manifest Destiny' on a regular basis.
 
2014-05-26 08:33:43 AM  

pippi longstocking: How about we honor them by not sending kids to die in pointless wars?


Came to say this. I'll add that actually taking care of them when they return might be another step in the right direction.
 
2014-05-26 08:34:12 AM  

Capo Del Bandito: UNC_Samurai: I wrote up a preliminary budget proposal for a grad school class, and I ballparked it at just under $5 million, and based on my quick and very dirty sample size, you would likely find ~50% of citations would need to be very heavily reviewed, with ~20% of citations ultimately requiring revocation.

So....would it be possible to see this budget proposal?

I do recognize that a lot of historical figures get romanticized, but I'd be genuinely interested in checking out reality vs propaganda and the like.

Some folks like Dakota Meyer, http://badassoftheweek.com/index.cgi?archive=1&newcid=535195528147&cu r rcount=109  , deserve recognition, even if their exploits are overblown (can't say for sure, have to rely on paperwork from the front). But a 'fact check' of established history is quite an interesting idea.


If it exists anywhere, it's in an archived hard drive somewhere on ECU's campus - once you graduate, they take away your shared drive.  The TL;DR was:

Hire someone with an MA or a PhD as the principal investigator, and someone with an MA as an assistant PI, at about $80k/year, then hire ten grad assistants for the summer at the going federal rate (which was about $17/hr in 2009).  Pay for not-terrible housing for the summer GAs.  Create an office inside National Archives-1 and have them turn the Indian Wars records upside down.  Same for any records the Smithsonian, CMOH Foundation, and a couple of other sources.  Once you have the set of records you know are questionable, you start going to the second- and third- tier sources; individual state and university libraries, tribal records, etc.
 
2014-05-26 08:36:44 AM  

UNC_Samurai: Capo Del Bandito: UNC_Samurai: I wrote up a preliminary budget proposal for a grad school class, and I ballparked it at just under $5 million, and based on my quick and very dirty sample size, you would likely find ~50% of citations would need to be very heavily reviewed, with ~20% of citations ultimately requiring revocation.

So....would it be possible to see this budget proposal?

I do recognize that a lot of historical figures get romanticized, but I'd be genuinely interested in checking out reality vs propaganda and the like.

Some folks like Dakota Meyer, http://badassoftheweek.com/index.cgi?archive=1&newcid=535195528147&cu r rcount=109  , deserve recognition, even if their exploits are overblown (can't say for sure, have to rely on paperwork from the front). But a 'fact check' of established history is quite an interesting idea.

If it exists anywhere, it's in an archived hard drive somewhere on ECU's campus - once you graduate, they take away your shared drive.  The TL;DR was:

Hire someone with an MA or a PhD as the principal investigator, and someone with an MA as an assistant PI, at about $80k/year, then hire ten grad assistants for the summer at the going federal rate (which was about $17/hr in 2009).  Pay for not-terrible housing for the summer GAs.  Create an office inside National Archives-1 and have them turn the Indian Wars records upside down.  Same for any records the Smithsonian, CMOH Foundation, and a couple of other sources.  Once you have the set of records you know are questionable, you start going to the second- and third- tier sources; individual state and university libraries, tribal records, etc.


Seems reasonable, rational even. Why continue to recognize something that has been twisted/turned in the wind?

Though if I remember right, the government has a problem admitting it made a mistake on a one on one level like that:

"Oh we praised the actions of a guy who executed 10 prisoners of war? Our bad" doesn't seem likely.
 
2014-05-26 08:38:37 AM  

Capo Del Bandito: UNC_Samurai: The federal government did practice a policy of escalation against western natives; for example, federal agents actively ignored policy about unauthorized settlement of Lakota territory. The attitude seems to be, "to hell with them and if they complain, we'll shoot them."

Wouldn't that be more about budgets than restraints based on empathy/giving a shiat about the natives? Going to war with a local tribe, worrying about collateral damage vs the 'keeping the people safe' idea? Not to be a pessimistic type, but I imagine they only called for a full on troop movement would be when there was a public uprising/concern/complaint and/or if they felt borders and the like were truly threatened?

I imagine bean counters back then were more worried about expenditure than 'Manifest Destiny' on a regular basis.


That pragmatism is very easy when the prevailing attitudes of the time considered natives as a lesser type of human being - "noble savage" and all that.

/I really enjoy discussing history on Fark without a flame war, but unfortunately I have to head out and work on some much-less-depressing history.  I have some work to do on my baseball museum exhibit before the local team starts their season today.  Thanks for the conversation, I might be back early enough to jump back in later.
 
2014-05-26 08:41:30 AM  
Last week I got to tour the caves in Valkenburg, and plain as day, saw my grandfathers signature there... made me super happy. That said... honor the families of the dead guys, not just the soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen... while dying is hard, explaining to a kid that his dad is dead is harder. Families behind soldiers cheer, stress, move, do logistics, and grieve, all behind the scenes, so servicemembers can do their work.
 
2014-05-26 08:47:12 AM  
Click here for this one amazing trick to learning the secret of America's top 10 deadliest wars!
 
2014-05-26 08:47:58 AM  

Capo Del Bandito: pippi longstocking: You're kinda off by a few centuries man. And by that logic the shiat that I just took will one day have a butterfly effect of getting us to Alpha Centauri. True story!

...I used that as a point of reference, not a 'be all end all'. ALL wars are defined after the fact, or did you miss that in European History 101 at your community college?


And my point is you can look at anything in the way you want to see it. Or did you miss the common sense section at the Ad hominem 101 class?
 
2014-05-26 08:51:02 AM  
As an ex-combat vet, and a disabled one at that, I always like to point out on this day not to thank me on May 26th. Any other day is fine, but today is about the fallen vets. There's over 800,000 of them, over 1.3 million if you count those who made the ultimate sacrifice while dying of things, like dysentery, for  their country. Don't thank living vets for that.

Now, I realize many don't know any fallen vets, so tend to bring up friends or family that were the fortunate vets that came home, some more fortunate than others - they still came back. We have our own day. Today isn't about that.

Today is about the fallen ones. Really, that is what this day is about. It can be uncomfortable, but it's necessary. A lot of times death in combat happens to people doing incredibly ordinary uninteresting tasks - think about these guys just one time today between beers - it's not a wake, it's a reflective celebration.

I know using today to thank a vet for their service is a good intention, but you unintentionally can fuel a lot of survivor guilt by thanking and dredging up old memories. A nice quiet reflective beer is all that is needed.

So, right now, spend 5 seconds of this day to use the internet look up a fallen vet - and enjoy the rest of it.
 
2014-05-26 09:06:32 AM  
My father was a B17 navigator/bomber in ww2 and artillery on the ground in Korea and Viet Nam. Resides in Arlington today. Refused to let me enlist in 69, made me go to college instead. I have his journals from the battles he engaged in. Proud he was my father.
 
2014-05-26 09:08:32 AM  
What's with all the Memorial Day hate this year? I don't remember seeing anything like it; I see all over Facebook "This day is not about barbecues, this is about crying over dead soldiers!" Now, I'm not trying to be crude here; I've got several friends and family who are retired and active duty; but isn't the best way to remember their sacrifice by celebrating our freedom?
 
2014-05-26 09:10:38 AM  
I see the Zinnians are up early this morning.

/Here's to all the men and women who didn't come home.
 
2014-05-26 09:11:20 AM  

HindiDiscoMonster: Capo Del Bandito: UNC_Samurai: Capo Del Bandito: You *do* know their active orders weren't 'shoot the Red skins on sight!" right?

Except when they were called out to slaughter natives who, having been enslaved and starved by local white settlers, committed the heinous crime of daring to attack settlers who were raping their girls.

/And we named forts and parks after their commander.

I'm not saying it didn't happen. I'm not a history revisionist. I'm talking about how often it did happen vs didn't happen. It's a long period of time. There were a lot of war crimes committed simply because there was no oversight. It was the 'Wild West" and all that. But i'm also saying it didn't happen on a daily basis over that 150 years or so.

I hate to break this to you, but "Indians" or "Red Skins" were not considered people back then... they were treated worse than the slaves were... the slaves were at least property and had value to people, the Native Americans however were nothing more than a dangerous annoyance lower than dogs to people at that time, so yes, it was a daily occurrence, and likely would not be documented in much the same was we do not document every single mosquito will kill that bites us.

/people are cruel by nature, and when there is no oversight and it is a crowd mentality, people are monsters.


Every single nation on earth has unfortunate events in the past. Powerful people tend to be asses and trample the weak. It's not just an American thing. We as a country gain nothing from dwelling on it.
 
2014-05-26 09:20:06 AM  
Leave it to the Fark Progressives to defile the day meant to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

/without their efforts you might not have the ability to sound like a tool on the interwebs
 
2014-05-26 09:32:59 AM  
Sadly my great grandfather fought in the 11th most deadliest of the US's wars.  Guess we'll start a burn barrel to purge his memory.
 
2014-05-26 09:34:12 AM  

Truther: Leave it to the Fark Progressives to defile the day meant to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

/without their efforts you might not have the ability to sound like a tool on the interwebs


Wut?
 
2014-05-26 09:36:16 AM  
What exsactly do they mean by "other deaths". Are they talking about accidents and dying of various diseases caught while serving?
 
2014-05-26 09:36:35 AM  
Honor Memorial Day by remembering those who sacrificed their lives in America's 10 deadliest wars

...with a slideshow listicle. Ugh.
 
2014-05-26 09:50:41 AM  
I'm reading Jared Diamond right now, so I feel compelled to point out that societies must celebrate dying in war and turn it into an honored and sacred sacrifice, otherwise it would be difficult to convince young men to give up their lives in defense of the power and wealth of the ruling elite (who of course will not be participating in the fighting).
 
2014-05-26 09:53:47 AM  
Dad was in the Army Corps of Engineers. On June 7, he went in on Utah Beach the day with heavy the equipment. Their job was to make airfields and bridges. They got shelled in Normandy regularly. Get the fields flat and wait for the 88s. Dad loved the military and didn't mind talking about the war. Unlike, apparently, most vets. When Mom died I got the family pictures. And in Dad's half there were pics of him as a teenager, already in some 30s version of ROTC. The pictures track his progress from goofy kid in uniform to an airfield in Bavaria waiting demobilization. My favorite: him in the doorway of a Quonset hut, leaning against the frame, looking tougher than John Wayne. All 5'3" of him.

After WW2, he stayed in the Reserves and by the day the first American died in Korea, he'd accumulated lots of kids. That day, Mom made him resign his commission (major). In a lot of ways, that was the worst thing he'd had to do.  Well, the second worst. With the fighting done after WW2, he was made part of the units that documented the Death Camps.

The best thing: in England waiting for the invasion he met and socialized with the English jazz critic, Stanley Dance. Dance was very generous with Americans and on Dad's days off he'd play him American jazz from his vast collection of records. It didn't do any good. Dad had terrible, completely conventional taste in music.
 
2014-05-26 10:09:04 AM  
I have not lost a family member in active duty, but many have served. Some very good friends of mine lost a daughter, who I have known since she was born, in Iraq. RIP Michelle.

My bother was a flight nurse in Operation Iraqi Freedom

My father served in both the Pacific (as part of the Alaska Defense Command) and in Europe during WWII. He almost lost his toes to frostbite during the Battle of the Bulge and came millimeters away from death when shot in the head in Luxembourg. Bullet glanced off the top of his forehead leaving a dent in his skull

My grandfather served in the Army in WWI

My gr-gr grandfather served in the Civil War. he slipped in some mud in Georgia, while marching with Sherman, which caused a hernia and he was mustered out.

My gr-gr-gr-grandfather served with Andrew Jackson in the Battle of New Orleans

At least 3 multiple greats grandfathers served in the Revolutionary War

One sixth great grandfather served with the Pennsylvania militia during the French and Indian war. He came home to find that his wife and children had all been wiped out by the Native people. Didn't stop him from leaving his new family and rejoining the militia to serve in the Revolution.
 
2014-05-26 11:00:41 AM  
For most of history, most deaths in wars could be summed up as "He shiat himself to death for God and Country."
 
2014-05-26 11:08:50 AM  

Ficoce: As an ex-combat vet, and a disabled one at that, I always like to point out on this day not to thank me on May 26th. Any other day is fine, but today is about the fallen vets. There's over 800,000 of them, over 1.3 million if you count those who made the ultimate sacrifice while dying of things, like dysentery, for  their country. Don't thank living vets for that.

Now, I realize many don't know any fallen vets, so tend to bring up friends or family that were the fortunate vets that came home, some more fortunate than others - they still came back. We have our own day. Today isn't about that.

Today is about the fallen ones. Really, that is what this day is about. It can be uncomfortable, but it's necessary. A lot of times death in combat happens to people doing incredibly ordinary uninteresting tasks - think about these guys just one time today between beers - it's not a wake, it's a reflective celebration.

I know using today to thank a vet for their service is a good intention, but you unintentionally can fuel a lot of survivor guilt by thanking and dredging up old memories. A nice quiet reflective beer is all that is needed.

So, right now, spend 5 seconds of this day to use the internet look up a fallen vet - and enjoy the rest of it.


Pikers.  I try and remember our Russian Allies in WWII.  They lost an entire GENERATION of men, some 25,000,000.  JUST in WWII.

Not trying to minimize the sacrifice at all.

Would rather we not have so many dead to remember.
 
2014-05-26 11:16:47 AM  
My granduncle (maternal grandmother's brother) was killed in Kasserine Pass, in North Africa, in 1943.
 
2014-05-26 11:19:24 AM  

Truther: Leave it to the Fark Progressives to defile the day meant to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

/without their efforts you might not have the ability to sound like a tool on the interwebs


From what I can see, wars nowadays aren't fought for our freedom.  Our military is used to fight for someone else's agenda, then kicked to the curb when they're no longer of any use, the way I see it.

I'm not a "progressive," either...I'm very conservative.

/would have been against vietnam too
//born in 1973
 
2014-05-26 11:24:31 AM  
As a native born Southern, I thought I'd include thoughts for the Confederate war dead today as well.

Not for fame or reward
Not for place or for rank
Not lured by ambition
Or goaded by necessity
But in simple
Obedience to duty
As they understood it
These men suffered all
Sacrificed all
Dared all-and died


The Confederate Memorial, Arlington National Cemetary

upload.wikimedia.org

/Note that I am NOT one of those Southern history revisionists.
//You know, the ones who claim the Civil War was over states' rights, against Northern aggression.
///These unfortunate died fighting for the preservation of the slavery of African-Americans.
 
2014-05-26 11:27:50 AM  

Miss Alexandra: From what I can see, wars nowadays aren't fought for our freedom.  Our military is used to fight for someone else's agenda, then kicked to the curb when they're no longer of any use, the way I see it.

I'm not a "progressive," either...I'm very conservative.

/would have been against vietnam too
//born in 1973


Not necessarily. You didn't miss out on the Cold War.
 
2014-05-26 11:29:19 AM  
sd.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk
 
2014-05-26 11:32:57 AM  
Canadians are very familiar with John McCrae's poem "In Flanders Fields"; however, few may be acquainted with the American Moina Michael's reply "We Shall Keep the Faith". In solidarity with our southern brothers on this, their day of remembrance, Memorial Day, I present them together.

"In Flanders Fields"

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row ...on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

-----

"We Shall Keep the Faith"

by Moina Michael, November 1918

Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet - to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We'll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.
 
2014-05-26 11:37:17 AM  
What's with all the Memorial Day hate this year? I don't remember seeing anything like it; I see all over Facebook "This day is not about barbecues, this is about crying over dead soldiers!" Now, I'm not trying to be crude here; I've got several friends and family who are retired and active duty; but isn't the best way to remember their sacrifice by celebrating our freedom?


Here's a thought:  Celebrate your freedom by remembering their sacrifice. Without it you would have nothing to celebrate.
 
2014-05-26 11:52:03 AM  
This list is absolutely useless.  If you want something that is relevant figure out losses as a percentage of population.  I don't have the figures and don't know where to to find them but I suspect that it would shake out something like this:
1. Revolutionary war
2. Civil war
3. Mexican - American war

The more modern wars are farther down the list because there are so many more Americans.
 
2014-05-26 12:02:25 PM  
farm4.staticflickr.com
 
2014-05-26 12:13:33 PM  

Miss Alexandra: Truther: Leave it to the Fark Progressives to defile the day meant to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

/without their efforts you might not have the ability to sound like a tool on the interwebs

From what I can see, wars nowadays aren't fought for our freedom.  Our military is used to fight for someone else's agenda, then kicked to the curb when they're no longer of any use, the way I see it.

I'm not a "progressive," either...I'm very conservative.

/would have been against vietnam too
//born in 1973


I thought the war in Iraq was a terrible idea.

But Memorial Day is to honor those who've died in service to our country. It's not the day to debate the validity of any particular war, or to debate politics.

It's the day to honor our war dead.

That's what I was pointing out.
 
2014-05-26 12:18:42 PM  
I love these threads. So many people whose grandfathers single handedly won WWII. Or they can trace their ancestry and all of their forefathers fought in every single important American battle in history. Apparently mail clerks and the logistics guys didn't have any offspring.
 
2014-05-26 12:19:05 PM  

AirForceVet: Miss Alexandra: From what I can see, wars nowadays aren't fought for our freedom.  Our military is used to fight for someone else's agenda, then kicked to the curb when they're no longer of any use, the way I see it.

I'm not a "progressive," either...I'm very conservative.

/would have been against vietnam too
//born in 1973

Not necessarily. You didn't miss out on the Cold War.


Or the Cola Wars!
 
2014-05-26 12:20:28 PM  
I see OP forgot the War on Drugs.
 
2014-05-26 12:41:58 PM  
My grandfather and great Uncles served in the second world war, my uncle served in the Navy in the 1960s and 70s , as did my step dad.


I salute all veterans of war past and present, to those still with us and to those who have gone on to their eternal rest.

From those who died to give birth to this nation, to those who died in a war that nearly tore us asunder, to those who fought in the war to end all wars, and while it did not  there efforts are not diminished.

To the greatest generation to saw us through the most destructive and deadly war ever fought  to make the world safe for democracy and to those who fought and died in Korea and Vietnam and all the other small wars and conflicts.

I salute you all your sacrifices are not forgotten and will always be appreciated, now soilder, marine, airman, sailorand coast guardsman we are proud of you.
 
2014-05-26 12:51:54 PM  

dennysgod: What exsactly do they mean by "other deaths". Are they talking about accidents and dying of various diseases caught while serving?


Yes.

You were waaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy more likely to catch a disease than a bullet in most situations.
 
2014-05-26 12:55:03 PM  

bmwericus: Ficoce: As an ex-combat vet, and a disabled one at that, I always like to point out on this day not to thank me on May 26th. Any other day is fine, but today is about the fallen vets. There's over 800,000 of them, over 1.3 million if you count those who made the ultimate sacrifice while dying of things, like dysentery, for  their country. Don't thank living vets for that.

Now, I realize many don't know any fallen vets, so tend to bring up friends or family that were the fortunate vets that came home, some more fortunate than others - they still came back. We have our own day. Today isn't about that.

Today is about the fallen ones. Really, that is what this day is about. It can be uncomfortable, but it's necessary. A lot of times death in combat happens to people doing incredibly ordinary uninteresting tasks - think about these guys just one time today between beers - it's not a wake, it's a reflective celebration.

I know using today to thank a vet for their service is a good intention, but you unintentionally can fuel a lot of survivor guilt by thanking and dredging up old memories. A nice quiet reflective beer is all that is needed.

So, right now, spend 5 seconds of this day to use the internet look up a fallen vet - and enjoy the rest of it.

Pikers.  I try and remember our Russian Allies in WWII.  They lost an entire GENERATION of men, some 25,000,000.  JUST in WWII.

Not trying to minimize the sacrifice at all.

Would rather we not have so many dead to remember.


If everyone knew as many dead warriors as they did live veterans - we'd have fewer of both and this would be celebration of life day.
 
2014-05-26 01:02:41 PM  

Marshal805: dennysgod: What exsactly do they mean by "other deaths". Are they talking about accidents and dying of various diseases caught while serving?

Yes.

You were waaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy more likely to catch a disease than a bullet in most situations.


My great uncle served in WW1 -- in Chicago! Then died in the Spanish Flu epidemic.
 
2014-05-26 01:08:38 PM  

Hardy-r-r: BarryTheMasterOfSandwich: The last generation of real Americans.

RIP, America.

No argument here.


We need to evolve out of war completely. We should focus more on promoting peace. That's incredibly hard to do when we have weapons pointed at other countries. We live in fear, mostly...

Human beings cannot survive by warring constantly. At some point, someone or some country will have to take the high road and set a better example, otherwise the problems that we see will persist.

Be the change.
 
2014-05-26 01:20:52 PM  

Mid_mo_mad_man: Mid_mo_mad_man: I'm glad they mentioned the large number of civil war prisoner deaths. I had two die that way. One died when the prison she was in collapsed. The other was lynched by Union troopers.

I had two ancestors


Adam and Eve?

Methuselah's got nothing on you.
 
2014-05-26 01:28:03 PM  
Since becoming a nation, we've only had to defend our sovereignty once, and that was the War of 1812. I honor those men, but not those who participated in building and propping up the empire... screw them. THEY are the cause of 9/11 and all of our current problems with foreigners.
 
2014-05-26 01:31:13 PM  

Truther: But Memorial Day is to honor those who've died in service to our country. It's not the day to debate the validity of any particular war, or to debate politics.


In a war of empire, the only way to serve your country is to refuse to participate. Today, celebrate the courage of people like Ehren Watada, who are the real heroes.
 
2014-05-26 01:35:09 PM  

Alphakronik: I see OP forgot the War on Drugs.


And the War on Cancer.

/fear the draft
//can't burn that Selective Service card
 
2014-05-26 01:40:43 PM  

Truther: Leave it to the Fark Progressives to defile the day meant to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

/without their efforts you might not have the ability to sound like a tool on the interwebs


...because the Viet Cong would have invaded and taken over.
 
2014-05-26 01:46:25 PM  

DrPainMD: Since becoming a nation, we've only had to defend our sovereignty once, and that was the War of 1812. I honor those men, but not those who participated in building and propping up the empire... screw them. THEY are the cause of 9/11 and all of our current problems with foreigners.


What about the men who ended slavery? Or ended the Nazis rein of terror?
 
2014-05-26 02:03:13 PM  
For me today is about Jenkins and Bucklin who never came home from Baghdad, and the 4 others who came back, but never truly came home.
 
2014-05-26 02:29:22 PM  

Mid_mo_mad_man: DrPainMD: Since becoming a nation, we've only had to defend our sovereignty once, and that was the War of 1812. I honor those men, but not those who participated in building and propping up the empire... screw them. THEY are the cause of 9/11 and all of our current problems with foreigners.

What about the men who ended slavery? Or ended the Nazis rein of terror?


I think he is talking about modern America... I don't think anyone disputes those wars were necessary.

There are no easy answers. Not everyone is on the same level of understanding, and there are many extremists that still exist in this day and age that want to force their ideals on others. But when it is our country that does this, it creates just as many problems and just as much violence as those we fight against.

We should invest more in educating ourselves, rather than constantly building weapons and pumping money into the military industrial complex. This only serves to make our 'enemies' more resentful, and make the corporate share owners and company owners that build weapons even more wealthy.

Whenever there is a financial incentive to keep building weapons and going to war, problems will undoubtedly arise. Warning bells should be going off for everyone at this point. Every time we go to war, someone makes money off it. Politicians that are quick to send others to war are bribed by these company/corporate owners constantly. This is a huge mess we have created for ourselves... We cannot allow it to continue. We must educate ourselves.

We already have a technologically dominate military apparatus. We should focus on creating a positive reality now... Setting positive examples by creating peace, not destruction. It can be done. All it takes is a change of focus.
 
2014-05-26 02:55:03 PM  

UNC_Samurai: Not nitpicking, genuinely curious - for Mdeal of Honor recipients, do they keep detailed info on how/why they earned them that far back? I know for WW2 and beyond there's a significant amount of paper trails and the like, but was it more complicated back during 'The Indian Wars'?

There are citations, after-actions reports, and often additional reports, diary entries, and other pieces of writing.

Unfortunately, some of that material was probably in the soldier's service record, and about 80% of the army's inactive service records were lost in a fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis in 1973.

I tried to request my great-grandfather's WWI and WWII file and it's gone. We may never even know why he died, because he received his (eventually) fatal injury in a skirmish that the history books say resulted in no casualties.
 
2014-05-26 03:02:03 PM  

Mid_mo_mad_man: DrPainMD: Since becoming a nation, we've only had to defend our sovereignty once, and that was the War of 1812. I honor those men, but not those who participated in building and propping up the empire... screw them. THEY are the cause of 9/11 and all of our current problems with foreigners.

What about the men who ended slavery? Or ended the Nazis rein of terror?


Ended the Nazi reign of terror? You've got to be kidding. We handed 150 million people over to Stalin and set the stage for Mao to take over China (not to mention the 10 or so million who wouldn't have died directly by our involvement in the war). Plus, we then embarked on an anti-communist crusade, supporting the likes of Papa Doc Duvalier and other dictators, which not only wouldn't have been needed if we'd let the Germans take down (or at least drastically weaken) the Soviets, but we created the CIA, which has been carrying out its own reign of terror ever since. The world is NOT a better place due to our involvement in WW2.
 
2014-05-26 03:21:57 PM  

Capo Del Bandito: pippi longstocking: How about we honor them by not sending kids to die in pointless wars?

Yes yes, and the majority of the North thought the Civil War was a 'pointless war' until Lincoln's second term and in a way to 'rally the troops' he made it about freeing the slaves.

All wars are pointless until you put them in a historical context of 'good vs evil'. It all depends on the outcome.


Unless a foreign army is wading ashore to conquer you, you are on the "evil" side. Note that there may be more than one evil side in any war. But, honoring paid killers for the state for participating in non-defensive, unjust wars only serves to make it more likely that there will be even more unjust wars in the future.  And it rewards individuals for engaging in some of the most reprehensible behavior known to mankind. There have been one or two exceptions in American history, but in general what Americans are "memorializing" on Memorial Day is wars of conquest, imperialism, mass murder of foreigners and the confiscation of their property, the abolition of civil liberties at home, the slavery of military conscription, and the debt, taxes, and inflation that are used to pay for it all. The state orchestrates never-ending memorials to itself and its wars because war is the health of the state (and in almost all cases, the deadly enemy of freedom and prosperity).

Yee ha... throw another burger on the grill.
 
2014-05-26 03:28:52 PM  

DrPainMD: Mid_mo_mad_man: DrPainMD: Since becoming a nation, we've only had to defend our sovereignty once, and that was the War of 1812. I honor those men, but not those who participated in building and propping up the empire... screw them. THEY are the cause of 9/11 and all of our current problems with foreigners.

What about the men who ended slavery? Or ended the Nazis rein of terror?

Ended the Nazi reign of terror? You've got to be kidding. We handed 150 million people over to Stalin and set the stage for Mao to take over China (not to mention the 10 or so million who wouldn't have died directly by our involvement in the war). Plus, we then embarked on an anti-communist crusade, supporting the likes of Papa Doc Duvalier and other dictators, which not only wouldn't have been needed if we'd let the Germans take down (or at least drastically weaken) the Soviets, but we created the CIA, which has been carrying out its own reign of terror ever since. The world is NOT a better place due to our involvement in WW2.


What he's really saying is we should have let Hitler exterminate every last Jew and homosexual.
The US should have in no way stopped that from happening.
 
2014-05-26 03:35:09 PM  
And a big 'Thank you' to every serviceman that did not come home.
One of my mother's uncles never came home from WWII.
Died during battle of the bulge.

My grandfather served in WWII as a machinist in shipyards.
An uncle was in Vietnam doing radar systems.
Step dad was a rescue diver going after downed pilots in Vietnam.
Niece is currently in the Air Force.
Brother in law just retired after 22 years in the Marines.
 
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