Today we honor those who died for our freedom

Bob Schneider
3 min readMay 29, 2022
The Vietnam Memorial, Washington, DC (National Parks Photo)

Today is a day we should set aside partisan politics and come together as a nation to honor those who died in war defending our freedom.

When we ask how many American soldiers have died in war it is a surprisingly hard question to answer. We can only estimate since we don’t have good numbers until World War I. The estimates as of 2015 are that 651,008 Americans have died in battles and another 1.2 million servicemen and women have died during service in wartime. Unfortunately, that number continues to grow. About 1 in 50 who served were killed according to figures compiled by the University of California at Santa Barbara

It is a small number of our population, but that small number has a huge impact on us all. They say it is a noble thing to give one’s life for the nation. It is said by those who didn’t give theirs.

When I lived in Washington, DC I used to visit the Vietnam Memorial on the National Mall at least once a month. Vietnam was my generation’s war. It left a wound on the Nation that will only be healed when my generation is no more. Vietnam had many lessons for America, but it appears we have forgotten many of the bitter lessons that were taught to us by the 58,307 names carved into the black marble monument on the National Mall.

Every time I visited the memorial I would see some hand reach out to touch a name. Maybe it was a mother, or a father, or a sibling, a child, or a friend of a name on the wall. They reach out to make a connection with someone who is no more. Someone who had their life ripped away.

The Vietnam Generation, my generation is now getting old and gray, but we still remember. My generation was shaped by that war.

JFK gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery (US Army Photo)

My generation was also shaped by some men who cast a giant shadow on history. President John F. Kennedy was one. As has been the tradition of most American Presidents, he believed in American Exceptionalism. He believed America had a special place in the World and is the keeper of liberty and freedom.

In his Inaugural speech given on January 20, 1961, the freshly sworn-in President made a…

Bob Schneider

Ex Washington Public Affairs/PR Hack, for trade, foreign policy, int'l business operations, & defense. Blogger @ ChicagoNow Art collector and Philanthropist