The numbers are astonishing, really. Over 116,000 military personnel died in the War to End All Wars. Over 405,000 died in World War II. Nearly 54,000 died in Korea and over 58,000 in Vietnam. Over 10,000 people have given the ultimate sacrifice in the various wars springing from events in the Middle East.
That is more people than the current population of Minneapolis and St. Paul combined. The sacrifice that these men and women gave for us are beyond the numbers, though.
My grandfather served in the War to End All Wars. I had a number of uncles who served in World War II and another uncle who was a prisoner of war in Vietnam. They all made it back alive and were able to have families and lives, lives that brought forth dozens of new lives. My extended family has been greatly blessed to live in a nation that survived and thrived in large measure because so many others gave their lives.
If things had been just a little different, I would not have had the opportunity to write these words. My grandfather survived in 1918. There were a lot of men who went to Europe with him who would have been grandfathers, too, who didn't come home, who never had a chance to be grandfathers. That's only one reason why we need to remember. Every day we are here, we are blessed.