Today I know so many Americans are looking at the day as their launch to summer. I just hope that they take a moment to remember why we recognize Memorial Day: to remember those soldiers who died for our country.
It's astounding to think how many lives just one death touches. I am grateful, though, that as a nation we have truly come to realize the sacrifices these men and women and their families and friends have made.
While the wars below certainly don't represent all of the conflicts our nation has been involved in, the lives effected are staggering. Even those who survived were forever changed.
American Revolutionary War (1775-1783): 25,000 casualties
American Civil War (1861-1865): 625,000 casualties
World War I (1917-1918): 116,516 casualties
World War II (1941-1945): 405,399 casualties
Korea (1950-1953): 36,516 casualties
Vietnam (1955-1975): 58,209 casualties
Iraq (2003-2012): 4,840 casualties
Afghanistan (to date): 3,441 casualties