For nearly two and a half centuries, American men and women have served our country in the armed forces. Many served in peacetime, while many others served in a time of war. When we talk of our war history, the conflicts which immediately come to mind are:
- Revolutionary War,
- War of 1812,
- Civil War,
- Spanish–American War,
- First World War,
- Second World War,
- Korean War,
- Vietnam War,
- Gulf War,
- Iraq War.
We remember these wars because they were pivotal, popular (or wildly unpopular), or simply because they’re recent. However, in addition to these major wars, the United States has been involved in numerous smaller conflicts, including civil wars and revolutions, in other countries all around the world. Here at home the Indian Wars (of which there were quite a few) went on for decades, starting long before we declared our independence from Great Britain and not finishing until 1923. Let’s not forget the Cold War, which includes Korea, Vietnam, and myriad low-intensity wars that most Americans have forgotten or never learned about in the first place.
When we look at a list of wars the United States has been involved in, it’s plainly obvious our nation has been engaged in conflicts almost without interruption throughout our entire history. Armed conflict has been a cornerstone, a common thread, in and of American life, culture, and history. As such, war has been a major influence in shaping who we are, our relationships with other nations, and our position in the world. Whether or not being involved in any particular war was right or wrong, good or bad, just or unjust, is a matter of perspective and often not discernable except in hindsight. Whether “good” or “bad” none of this military history could have or would have happened without the men and women in uniform who served us throughout our history.
This is to say that veterans, no matter when or where, have all contributed to shaping America. They were, and are, crucial participants in the American story. Today we say to all of them, thank you for your faithful service to our country and our Constitution.
Question of the Night: Is there a veteran you’d like to recognize for their service? (Possibly someone you served with, or a veteran that you admire, or could be a relative, of course).