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You’re a Grand Old Flag

By Staff | Jun 13, 2009

Members of VFW Post 3388 and its Auxiliary presented a Flag Day program at the Good Samaritan Friday morning. Sally Steil explained the history of U.S. flags from its beginnings to the present day flag of 13 stripes and 50 stars. From left to right are the Gadston Flag, the “Star Spangled Banner,” the Bennington Flag, the Betsy Ross Flag, the 48-star flag and finally the present-day flag. EDN photo by David Swartz

The heart-wrenching numbers are staggering when considering the loss of Americans who fought under the stars and stripes in order to preserve and protect this great nation. Whenever we gaze at the brightest red, the boldest blue and the crispest white, we should remember those whose shed their blood for our freedoms.

From the time of the Revolutionary War, men and women have heeded the call to serve in the military and must be commended for their sacrifices. Sometimes the sacrifice is the ultimate surrender of life. “Taps” at the burial sites accompanied by the sharp 21 gun salute pierces the air as well as the hearts of loved ones.

From the days of the Revolution through May 2009, America lost 655,771 to wars and deployments. The biggest loss of life occurred during World War II as 291,557 perished. A total of 212,938 troops were lost from 1860 to 1865 as the North and South waged war in this country. Other war statistics taken from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_casualties_of_war#Wars_ranked_by_combat_deaths include:

n World War I, (1917-18) 47, 335.

n Vietnam War, (1964-1973) 47, 355.

n Korean War, (1950-1953) 33,746.

n American Revolutionary War, (1775-1783) 8,000.

n Iraq War, (2003 to May 2009) 3,760.

n War of 1812, (1812-1815) 2, 260.

n Mexican-American War (1846-1848) 1,733.

n Philippine-American War (1898-1913) 1,020.

Obviously this country has had more peace time in its 233-year history. But conflict has left it mark as sons and daughters, fathers and mothers have paid the supreme price in that time.

Whenever your eyes gaze at the flag, please remember the dedication and loyalty given by every man and woman who wears the military uniform.

Especially remember those lives were cut all too short for all of us in the United States of America!

Thanks to every military personnel who ever served and continue to serve, our flag will wave proudly and freely forever.