Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary

Due to injury, this commentary will be added later. Please check back. Thank you.  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 3054 Words ]

   

Quotations Related to VETERANS

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”
— Cynthia Ozick

“It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.”
— Dick Cheney

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”
— Elmer Davis

“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!.”
— Maya Angelou

“I think there is one higher office than president and I would call that patriot.”
— Gary Hart

“The most persistent sound which reverberates through men’s history is the beating of war drums.”
— Arthur Koestler

“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.”
— G.K. Chesterton

“But the freedom that they fought for, and the country grand they wrought for, Is their monument to-day, and for aye.”
— Thomas Dunn English

    

Revisiting the Archives — Veterans Day: America’s Foreign Wars

    

Editor’s Note:
In 2009, we ran a series of articles related to the wars on mostly foreign soil in which American men and women have fought. Many gave their lives in the cause of defending our flag, our homeland, and our liberties. Rather than reproducing them here, we include the following links, along with their first paragraph (or two) for your convenience. We hope that you will enjoy them… GLB

    

Veterans’ Day: Looking Back (11/2/2009)

Veterans Day is an annual American holiday honoring military veterans. Both a federal holiday and a state holiday in all states, it is usually observed on November 11. However, if it occurs on a Sunday then the following Monday is designated for holiday leave, and if it occurs Saturday then either Saturday or Friday may be so designated. It is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world, falling on November 11, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.)

The holiday is commonly printed as Veteran’s Day or Veterans’ Day in calendars and advertisements. While these spellings are grammatically acceptable, the United States government has declared that the attributive (no apostrophe) rather than the possessive case is the official spelling.  (Wikipedia)

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Major Military Conflicts since the Revolutionary War

Looking back over our military history, we find that there were hundreds of ‘incidents’ involving our countries military forces over the last two hundred and thirty-four year history. But, if we look a little closer, we find that there are a relatively few (about a dozen) major conflicts. The postings about these conflict were covered with the exception of the two World Wars of the 20th century, which could not be covered in one or two postings. These include:

  • The War of 1812 (1812—1815)
  • The Mexican-American War (1846—1848)
  • The American Civil War (1861—1865)
  • The Indian Wars [West of the Mississippi] (1823–1890, esp. 1865–1890)
  • The Spanish-American War (1898)/
    The Philippines-American War (1899—1913)
  • World-War I (1917—1918) [Not Covered]
  • World War II (1941—1945) [Not Covered]
  • The Korean War (1950—1953)
  • The Vietnam War (1959—1975)
  • The Persian Gulf War (1991)
  • The War in Afghanistan (2001—Present)/
    The War in Iraq (2003—Present)

    

Veterans Day: Remembering the War of 1812 (11/3/2009)

The War of 1812, between the United States of America and the British Empire (particularly Great Britain and British North America), lasted from 1812 to 1815. It was fought chiefly on the Atlantic Ocean and on the land, coasts and waterways of North America.

There were several immediate stated causes for the U.S. declaration of war: first, a series of trade restrictions introduced by Britain to impede American trade with France, a country with which Britain was at war (the U.S. contested these restrictions as illegal under international law); second, the impressment (forced recruitment) of U.S. citizens into the Royal Navy; third, the British military support for American Indians who were offering armed resistance to the expansion of the American frontier to the Northwest. An unstated but powerful motivation for the Americans was the desire to uphold national honor in the face of what they considered to be British insults (such as the Chesapeake affair).

American expansion into the Northwest (Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin) was impeded by Indian raids. Some Canadian historians in the early 20th century maintained that Americans had wanted to seize parts of Canada, a view that many Canadians still share, while others argue that inducing the fear of such a seizure had merely been a U.S. tactic designed to obtain a bargaining chip. Some members of the British Parliament at the time and dissident American politicians such as John Randolph of Roanoke claimed that land hunger rather than maritime disputes was the main motivation for the American declaration. [Although the British made some concessions before the war on neutral trade, they insisted on the right to reclaim their deserting sailors. The British also had the long-standing goal of creating a large "neutral" Indian state that would cover much of Ohio, Indiana and Michigan.] They made the demand as late as 1814 at the peace conference, but lost battles that would have validated their claims.  (Wikipedia)

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Veterans Day: Remembering the Mexican-American War (11/4/2009)

The Mexican–American War was an armed conflict between the United States and Mexico from 1846 to 1848 in the wake of the 1845 U.S. annexation of Texas. Mexico claimed ownership of Texas as a breakaway province and refused to recognize the secession and subsequent military victory by Texas in 1836.

In the U.S. the conflict is often referred to simply as the Mexican War and sometimes as the U.S.–Mexican War. In Mexico, terms for it include Intervención Estadounidense en México (American intervention in Mexico), Invasión Estadounidense de México (American Invasion of Mexico), and Guerra del 47 (The War of ’47).

The most important consequences of the war for the United States were the Mexican terms of surrender under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, in which the Mexican territories of Alta California and Santa Fe de Nuevo México were ceded to the United States. In Mexico, the enormous loss of territory following the war encouraged its government to enact policies to colonize its remaining northern territories as a hedge against further losses. In addition the Rio Grande became the boundary between Texas and Mexico, and Mexico never again claimed ownership of Texas.  (Wikipedia)

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Veterans Day: Remembering the Civil War (11/5/2009)

A civil war is a war between organized groups within a single nation state, or, less commonly, between two nations created from a formerly-united nation state. The aim of one side may be to take control of the nation or a region, to achieve independence for a region, or to change government policies. It is high-intensity conflict, often involving regular armed forces, that is sustained, organized and large-scale. Civil wars result in large numbers of casualties and the consumption of large resources.

Scholars investigating the cause of civil war are attracted by two opposing theories, greed versus grievance. Roughly stated: are conflicts caused by who people are, whether that be defined in terms of ethnicity, religion or other social affiliation, or do conflicts begin because it is in the economic best interests of individuals and groups to start them? Scholarly analysis supports the conclusion that economic and structural factors are more important than those of identity in predicting occurrences of civil war.  (Wikipedia)

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Veterans Day: Remembering the American Indian Wars (11/12/2009)

Indian Wars is the name used in the United States to describe a series of conflicts between the colonial or federal government and the native people of North America.

The earliest English settlers in what would become the United States often enjoyed peaceful relations with nearby tribes. However, as early as the Pequot War of 1637, the colonists were taking sides in military rivalries between native nations in order to assure colonial security and open further land for settlement. The wars, which ranged from the seventeenth-century (King Philip’s War, King William’s War, and Queen Anne’s War at the opening of the eighteenth century) to the Wounded Knee massacre and "closing" of the American frontier in 1890, generally resulted in the opening of Native American lands to further colonization, the conquest of Native Americans and their assimilation, or forced relocation to Indian reservations.

Modern scholars take different positions in the ongoing genocide debate. Various statistics have been developed concerning the devastations of these wars on both the settler and Native peoples. The most reliable figures are derived from collated records of strictly military engagements such as by Gregory Michno which reveal 21,586 dead, wounded, and captured civilians and soldiers for the period of 1850–90 alone. Other figures are derived from extrapolations of rather cursory and unrelated government accounts such as that by Russell Thornton who calculated that some 45,000 Indians and 19,000 whites were killed. This later rough estimate includes women and children on both sides, since noncombatants were often killed in frontier massacres.  (Wikipedia)

For More Info on: Remembering the American Indian Wars…
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Veterans Day: Remembering the Spanish-American War (11/6/2009)

The Spanish–American War was a military conflict between Spain and the United States that took place between April and August 1898, over the issues of the liberation of Cuba. The war began after American demands for the resolution of the Cuban fight for independence were rejected by Spain. Strong expansionist sentiment in the United States motivated the government to develop a plan for annexation of Spain’s remaining overseas territories including the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

The revolution in Havana prompted the United States to send in the warship USS Maine to indicate high national interest. Tension among the American people was raised because of the explosion of the USS Maine, and the yellow journalist newspapers that accused the Spanish of oppression in their colonies, agitating American public opinion. The war ended after victories for the United States in the Philippine Islands and Cuba.

On December 10, 1898, the signing of the Treaty of Paris gave the United States control of Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam.  (Wikipedia)

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Veterans Day: Remembering the Korean War (11/7/2009)

The Korean War was a war that started between North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, DPRK) and South Korea (Republic of Korea, ROK) on 25 June 1950 and paused with an armistice signed 27 July, 1953. To date, the war has not been officially ended through treaty, and occasional skirmishes have been reported in the border region.

The Korean peninsula was politically divided as a legacy of the geopolitics of defeating the Japanese Empire on the peninsula in 1945. Soviet forces fighting the Japanese advanced up to the 38th Parallel, which later became the political border between the two Koreas. Despite talks in the months preceding open warfare, continual cross-border skirmishes and raids at the 38th Parallel, and the political frustration of failed all-Korea elections in 1948, escalated to warfare. The reunification negotiations ceased when North Korea invaded South Korea on 25 June 1950.

The United States and the United Nations intervened on the side of the South. After a rapid UN counteroffensive that repelled North Koreans past the 38th Parallel and almost to the Yalu River, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) came to the aid of the North. With the PRC’s entry into the conflict, the fighting eventually ceased with an armistice that restored the original border between the Koreas at the 38th Parallel and created the Korean Demilitarized Zone, a 2.5 mile wide buffer zone between the two Koreas. North Korea unilaterally withdrew from the armistice on 27 May 2009, thus returning to a de facto state of war; as of this date, no conflicts have erupted.  (Wikipedia)

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Veterans Day: Remembering the Vietnam War (11/8/2009)

The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, was a Cold War military conflict that which may be said to have occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from September 26, 1959 to April 30, 1975. The war was fought between the communist North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of South Vietnam, supported by the United States and other anti-communist nations.

The Viet Cong, a lightly armed South Vietnamese communist-controlled common front, largely fought a guerrilla war against anti-communist forces in the region. The North Vietnamese Army engaged in a more conventional war, at times committing large units into battle. U.S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces, artillery and airstrikes.

The United States entered the war to prevent a communist takeover of South Vietnam as part of their wider strategy of containment. Military advisors arrived beginning in 1950. U.S. involvement escalated in the early 1960s, with U.S. troop levels tripling in 1961 and tripling again in 1962. U.S. combat units were deployed beginning in 1965. Involvement peaked in 1968 at the time of the Tet Offensive. After this, U.S. ground forces were withdrawn as part of a policy called Vietnamization. Despite the Paris Peace Accords, signed by all parties in January 1973, fighting continued.  (Wikipedia)

For More Info on: Remembering the Vietnam War (Part 1)…
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For More Info on: Remembering the Vietnam War (Part 2)…
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Veterans Day: Remembering the Persian Gulf War (11/99/2009)

The Persian Gulf War (2 August 1990 – 28 February 1991), also known as the Gulf War, the First Gulf War, the Second Gulf War, by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein as The Mother of all Battles, and commonly as Desert Storm for the military response, was the final conflict, which was initiated with United Nations authorization, by a coalition force from 34 nations against Iraq, with the expressed purpose of expelling Iraqi forces from Kuwait after its invasion and annexation on 2 August 1990.

The great majority of the military forces in the coalition were from the United States, with Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and Egypt as leading contributors, in that order. Around US$40 billion of the US$60 billion cost was paid by Saudi Arabia.

The invasion of Kuwait by Iraqi troops was met with international condemnation, and brought both immediate economic sanctions against Iraq by members of the UN Security Council, and preparations for war by the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The initial conflict to expel Iraqi troops from Kuwait began with an aerial bombardment on 17 January 1991, following the expiration of the UN deadline; this was followed by a ground assault on 23 February, which was a decisive victory for the coalition forces, who liberated Kuwait and advanced into Iraqi territory. The coalition ceased their advance, and declared a cease-fire 100 hours after the ground campaign started.  (Wikipedia)

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Veterans Day: Remembering the War against Terror —
Iraq and Afghanistan (11/10/2009)

The War on Terrorism (also referred to as the Global War on Terror, World War III, World War IV, or Overseas Contingency Operation) is the common term for the military, political, legal and ideological conflict against Islamic terrorism and Islamic militants, and was specifically used in reference to operations by the United States, the United Kingdom and its allies since the September 11, 2001 attacks’ and later the 7 July 2005 London bombings.

The stated objectives of the war in the US are to protect the citizens of the US and allies, to protect the business interests of the US and allies at home and abroad, break up terrorist cells in the US, and disrupt the activities of the international network of terrorist organizations made up of a number of groups under the umbrella of al-Qaeda.

Both the term and the policies it denotes have been a source of ongoing controversy, as critics argue it has been used to justify unilateral preemptive war, human rights abuses and other violations of international law. In March 2009, the Obama administration requested that Pentagon staff members avoid use of the term, instead using "Overseas Contingency Operation". The administration has re-focused US involvement in the conflict on the withdrawal of its troops from Iraq, the closing of Guantanamo Bay detention camp, and increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan.  (Wikipedia)

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Veterans Day: We Honor Your Sacrifices (11/11/2009)

We have highlighted the major conflicts (except for the two World Wars of the 20th century) over the past week. It is now time to think how we can pass on to our children the sense of gratitude that we feel for those who have served our country with such valor. Not all of these conflicts have been well supported, especially those of the past half century, but brave men and women served and died to preserve our freedom. So, in this moment, take a look at the seven suggestions included in the following posting and help pass on to the next generation the sense of honor that these Veterans so dearly deserve…

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Copyright©2010 — Gerald L. Boerner — All Commercial Rights Reserved