Friday, May 26, 2006

Living with War: Memorial Day 2006

American Military Casualties in Iraq
  • American deaths since war began (3/19/03): Total, 2,460; In combat, 1,983

  • American deaths since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): Total, 2,323; In combat, 1,886

  • American deaths since capture of Saddam (12/13/03): Total, 1,995; In combat, 1,677

  • American deaths since handover (6/29/04): Total, 1,594; In combat, 1,351

  • American deaths since election (1/31/05): Total, 1,024; In combat, 866

  • American Wounded: Officially, 17,648; Estimated, 18,000-48,100

  • Other Coalition Troops deaths: 214

  • US Military Deaths in Afghanistan: 295

  • Iraqi civilian deaths reported by American sources: 37,918-42,288

As of May 26, 2006

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How many people died in the Vietnam War?

Quick answer: Approximately 5.4 million total.

The official number is 58,148 Americans killed during service. An additional 114 were captured and died in captivity.

In the five years following the war, the suicide rate of veterans was 1.7 times the non-Veteran population, yielding an estimate of 9,000 suicides as a direct result of the war. After five years, suicide rates fall back in line with the general population.

Source: Testimony by Dr. Houk, Oversight on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, 14 July 1988, page 17, Hearing before the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, United States Senate, one hundredth Congress, second session. Also "Estimating the Number of Suicides Among Vietnam Veterans" (Am J Psychiatry 147, 6 June 1990 pages 772-776)

A total of approximately 67,000 Americans.

Also on the American "side" were 223,748 South Vietnamese soldiers killed, as well as 5,282 of other nationalities. (See for the breakdown.)

A total of approximately 300,000 so far....

Vietnamese casualties are far less specific, and they were deliberately falsified prior to 1995, leading to some of the confusion. According to the Agence France Presse (French Press Agency) as reported on, "...the true civilian casualties of the Vietnam War were 2,000,000 in the north, and 2,000,000 in the south. Military casualties were 1.1 million killed and 600,000 wounded in 21 years of war. These figures were deliberately falsified during the war by the North Vietnamese Communists to avoid demoralizing the population."

So approximately 5.1 million total Vietnamese casualites.

And a grand total of approximately 5.4 million.

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Number of German Freemasons who died in German concentration camps, 1933-1945: 80,000

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Memorial day is celebrated as a National Holiday the last Monday of May. It is sometimes called Decoration Day or Poppy Day. It is set aside to honor those Americans who gave their lives for our country.

The Holiday was first celebrated by the people of Waterloo, New York on May 5, 1866 and then again on May 5, 1867. The Remembrance was first suggested by a druggist named Henry C. Welles in 1865.

General John A. Logan, Commander in Chief of the Grand Army of The Republic, proclaimed May 30th as Decoration Day by General Order 11 on May 5, 1868. This was two years after the 1866 and 1877 celebrations in Waterloo, New York.

Since the end of World War I Memorial Day has also been known as Poppy Day. This was the idea of Moina Michael, inspired by John McCrae's poem "In Flanders Fields."

In 1971 The Federal government designated the last Monday in May as Memorial Day.

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American War Deaths

Revolutionary War: Wounded, 6,188; Dead, 4,435
War of 1812: Wounded, 4,505; Dead, 2,260
Mexican War: Wounded, 4,152; Dead, 1,733
Civil War (Both Sides): Wounded, 412,175; Battle Dead, 214,938; Total Dead 558,052
Spanish American War: Wounded, 1,662; Dead, 385
World War I: Wounded, 204,002; Dead 53,402
World War II: Wounded, 671,846; Dead 291,557
Korean War: Wounded, 103,284; Dead, 33,741
Vietnam War: Wounded, 153,303; Dead, 58,262
Persian Gulf War: Wounded, 467; Dead. 147
Iraq War: Wounded, 17,648; Dead, 2,460

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Listen to Neil Young's new album Living with War in its entirety online

Image: Flanders Field, Waregem, Belgium, holding the graves of 368 Americans killed during World War I.

Source: Grand Lodge of Scotland
Source: Wikipedia

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