Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day - what's it about

Americans have fought on battlefields both near and far, in clashes both large and small, alone and with allies at their sides. These conflicts have shaped the country's policies, influenced its culture, defined its borders and cost thousands of lives.

18th Century
American Revolution
Dates: 1775-1783
Ended: Sept 3, 1783 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris
American Battle Deaths: 4,435 (approximately)

19th Century
War of 1812
Dates: 1812-1815
Ended: Signing of the Treaty of Ghent December 24, 1814
Side note: Unaware of the treaty, Gen. Andrew Jackson engaged and crushed the British at the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815.
American Battle Deaths: 2,260 (approximately)

Mexican-American War
Dates: 1846-1848
Ended: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed on February 2, 1848
American Battle Deaths: 1,733 (approximately)

Civil War
Dates: 1861-1865
Ended: Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant in southwestern Virginia at Appomattox on April 9, 1865
American Battle Deaths: Union 140,414, Confederate 74,524 (approximately)

Spanish-American War
Dates: April 25 - August 12, 1898
Ended: The treaty of Paris signed December 10, 1898
American Battle Deaths: 385 (approximately)

20th Century
World War I
Dates 1914-1918
Ended: Treaty of Versailles signed June 28, 1919
American Battle Deaths: 53,402 (approximately)

World War II
Dates: 1939-1945
Ended: Japan surrendered August 14, 1945 after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
American Battle Deaths: 291,557 (approximately)

Korean War
Dates 1950-1953
Ended: An Armistice was reached on July 27, 1953
American Battle Deaths: 33,741 (approximately)

Vietnam War
Dates: 1954-1975
Dates: U.S. withdrew after ceasefire in 1973. Saigon fell in April 1975
American Battle Deaths: 47,424 (approximately)

Persian Gulf War
Dates August 1990-April 1991
Ended: Cease-fire agreement was signed April 9, 1991
American Battle Deaths: 147 (approximately)

21st Century
War in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom)
Dates: October 7, 2001 - Conflict continues
Battle Deaths: 2209 (records found as of today May 27, 2013)

Iraq War (Operation Iraqi Freedom)
Dates: March 19, 2003 - December 21, 2011
American Battle Deaths: 4403 (records found)

Joseph Ambrose, an 86-year-old World War I veteran, attends the dedication day parade for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1982, holding the flag that covered the casket of his son, who was killed in the Korean War.