Memorial Day, 2009: By the Numbers

Supporting those who fight for our Flag, Motherhood and Apple PieThe US Census Bureau’s best estimate is that, today, May 23rd, 2009,  there are 306,493,300 people living in the United States.  This, of course, is an estimate, based on an averaging of the birth rate, the death rate, and the rate of immigration.

The bottom line? One person is added to our citizenry approximately every 12 seconds. Good to know. But not what I was really trying to determine.  What I really wanted to figure out was  how many people have lived in the US, since the Revolutionary War of 1776. How many people have lived in freedom during these 233 years? How many have benefited, from the supreme sacrifices we are commemorating this Memorial Day week-end?

There may be a way to find this answer, but it wasn’t readily available. (Please let me know if YOU have it!)

What i did find is that since our country’s founding, there have been a total of 1,194,998 deaths contributed to war efforts.

Of these, 668,368 were deaths in the war theatre.

Another 520,930 deaths were attributed to the war, but the dying didn’t happen on a battlefield, or in the seas, or in the air. It happened sometime later, somewhere else, tied to an injury that happened while fighting. While serving.

Taking the totality of lives sacrificed, to the lives currently living in freedom as a result of that sacrifice, we get a ratio that for  every 258 Americans walking around today, one US Serviceman or woman has paid an ultimate price.

Once you’ve reached a certain age, most of us have more than 258 friends and relatives in our lives. We’ve gathered up a lot of acquaitances, school mates, sports chums, work colleagues, and, through marriage and extended family, a lot of relatives.

Have you tallied them up?

Do it now: count the number of friends you have on FaceBook and MySpace. Add  the colleagues you have on Linkedin, or the business cards in your Rolodex. How many people are in your church family? How many groups are you a member of? Teams, choirs, boards, councils. How many people do you Twitter with?  How many peoples’ lives do you touch, every day?

Here’s the tough question: Are you ready to walk up to one of them and ask them to die for you tomorrow?

If you, like me, find this an almost incomprehensible thing to do, then consider this:  you don’t have to.

165,000 of our countries’ friend and relatives are already there, ensuring our freedoms remain in place.

Over the coming months, President Obama has called for 17,000 or so more, to put their lives on the line.

Taken together, that means there is one serviceman or woman for about every 1850 of us.

So this Memorial Day, think of all those who have sacrificed before, and think of those who are serving now.

Pray for their strength, their focus, their health and safety.

Pray for their families, who miss them more than words can say.



1 Response to “Memorial Day, 2009: By the Numbers”

  1. 1 applepiemom
    May 23, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    If you’re looking for places in the Twin Cities to fully commemorate our fallen, you can check out this StarTribune article: http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/45852322.html?elr=KArksUUUU

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