From the Revolutionary War to the Korean War, America’s military veterans were largely honored for the great sacrifices they made to secure the freedoms we often take for granted.

Memorial Day started out as Decoration Day for graves of Civil War soldiers on both sides, a solemn day of remembrance. Memorial Day is still recognized as a day of gratitude for those service members who “gave the last full measure of devotion”, part of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. It was given at the November dedication of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg following the three day battle in July 1-3, 1863, where over 7000 soldiers, Union and Confederate, died from battle wounds.

The Boy Scouts in our neighborhood plant an American flag in front of each house so people do not forget the purpose of the last Monday in May. Many people attend parades marking the day.

 

More servicemen died in the Civil War than in any other war in America’s history. World War 2 was second. If all countries had been included like the Civil War, WW2 would certainly have been the bloodiest war in the history of the world. This fact sheet from the Department of Veterans Affairs details the battle deaths and wounded, other in-theater deaths, and non-theater deaths for all of America’s wars from 1775-1991.

Vietnam veterans had a particularly rough time of it when they arrived home. Few Vietnam vets came home to a grateful public. Since then, America has learned its lesson and even if people do not support wars, they at least thank the veterans for their service and sacrifices.

Why did Americans fight wars in the 20th century? Veterans Day November 11, 2018 will mark the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, ending World War I, or the Great War as it was called then. World War II was fought against imperial Japan and Nazi Germany. After World War II, many wars were opposing the spread of communism.

As of last November, American soldiers were still serving in Afghanistan (more than 11,000), America’s longest-running war, and 4000-6000 in Iraq. 450,000 of the 1,300,000 service members are serving overseas.

A sobering statistic

In 2013, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs released a study that covered suicides from 1999 to 2010, which showed that roughly 22 veterans were dying by suicide per day, or one every 65 minutes. That’s a staggering total of more than 88,000 suicides, almost as many as the 90,000 total deaths in the 11 year Vietnam War. The 88,000 suicides dwarfs the 58,220 Vietnam deaths from combat and in-theater deaths.

Communism

Below are excerpts from history professor Paul Kengor’s November 6, 2017 article Birthday of a Bloodbath, which describes the destruction wrought by communist governments all over the world.

“Well, here at the centenary of communism, the number “100” is fitting, given that 100 million is a good stab at the number of people annihilated by the Marxist-Leninist pathology the Bolsheviks sought to spread worldwide.”

Kengor writes, “A student from the University of Wisconsin called in to a talk-show I did last week insisting that capitalism is just as lethal as communism.”

Why are people so misinformed? A recent poll showed one-third of millennials “believe more people were killed under George W. Bush than under Joseph Stalin.” More than one in four Americans believe Bush killed more than Stalin!

Harvard’s Black Book of Communism recorded 20 million killed under Stalin. However,  “Alexander Yakovlev, a high-level Soviet official who became one of Mikhail Gorbachev’s chief reformers, and who was given the post-Cold War task of trying to tally the victims, estimates that Stalin alone “annihilated … sixty to seventy million people.””

The news media is complicit in this by sympathetic treatment of Marxist ideology and leaders like Che Guevara, in my opinion. A quick read of Dr. Kengor’s article should set the record straight and will help people understand why we fought hot wars in Vietnam and Korea and waged the Cold War against the Soviet Union.

Marvin Olasky’s WORLD magazine article describes the events of 1937 as loyal Soviet communists living in the House of Government near the Kremlin in Moscow were purged, usually with a bullet to the head.

“Some authors don’t connect the events of 1917 and 1937, yet it’s no accident that every major revolution (except the American one) has resulted in dictatorship and mass murder. Since the French Revolution ended with radicals murdering each other within five years, the only surprise is that it took the Russians two decades to eat their own: Declassified Soviet archives show secret police shot nearly 700,000 persons, an average of 1,000 per day during the 1936-1938 Great Terror, but some say the number was 2.5 times greater.”

While communism still threatens the world from North Korea (hopefully not for much longer), the world faces a different threat from radical Islam and ISIS, not only in Syria and Iraq but through terrorism worldwide. Nolan Peterson wrote of the changes in France after several terror attacks there. “Since January 2015, Islamist terrorism attacks have killed 241 people in France. And since January of this year, French security officials have foiled 12 separate terrorist plots.”