Take time on Memorial Day for remembrance

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 27, 2006

On Monday, residents of Greenville and Butler County will come together to honor those who died in service to this country.

The numbers are staggering:

In the Civil War, combined loss for both Union and Confederate forces equaled over 600,000 people. The war nearly tore our nation apart.

In World War I, the &#8220Great War,” America lost 117,000. Of the start of that war, Sir Edward Grey, British Foreign Secretary said, &#8220The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.” While war was never a chivalrous affair, the introduction of the machine gun, trench warfare and mustard gas made death dealing apocalyptic.

Over 400,000 of our soldiers died in World War II. The war culminated in the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Six million Jews lost died in Nazi concentration camps. War, as stated by Union General Tecumseh Sherman, is hell.

The Korean War - America's first combat against communist backed opposition - cost the nation 40,000.

The last war where American saw significant loss of life was in Vietnam. In 13 years of conflict, nearly 60,000 soldiers were killed and untold listed as Missing In Action. Such was the psychological brutality of this war, that some experts place the number of Vietnam War related suicides since the war ended at 150,000.

In Iraq, 2,459 and climbing.

The price for freedom has been paid by the rich and the poor, the black and the white, the saints and sinners. War has cut short brilliant lives, left families asunder, and a nation in mourning.

Monday's Memorial Day is a chance for us to remember the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. At least once on Monday, pause for a brief prayer to say thank you.