Wednesday, January 25, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Day of Rest

A search of for any American servicemen or women born on January 25, 1917 found none who died during the war.

With more than 400,000 casualties in World War 2, most days it is easy to find at least one person born 100 years ago on that day who died during the war. The challenge is usually to decide who to highlight and who to leave out. If we assume that most of the casualties were among those born on one of the 4,017 days during the eleven years from 1917 to 1927 we would actually expect an average of 100 per day.

During the 45 months America was engaged in the war, we averaged 355 deaths per day. Obviously deaths increased later in the war as more Americans were engaged with the enemy. As sobering as these high numbers appear, they are nothing compared to the losses suffered by the Soviet Union. Not counting civilian deaths that numbered in the millions, Russian military losses average an incredible 4,000+ a day. Stalin cared less for the lives of his people than America's leaders who had a goal to end the war as soon as feasibly possible in order to stop the killing as soon as possible. Each death created a heartbroken Gold Star mother.

The Greatest Generation is a good moniker for those who fought for America in the Second World War. Adjusted for population growth a similar sacrifice today would be more than 1.2 million fallen. Could we do it again today? I'm not sure. Thankfully, we have for the most part been made safe from such horrors because of the sacrifice of those who did not return. This is what motivates me to bring the sacrifice of the World War 2 fallen to the attention of those who enjoy the freedom the fallen paid for with their lives.

Let's earn it for all those World War 2 fallen.

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