...If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!"
- Samuel Adams
United States War Casualties
01. WAR NUMBER.....SERVING...WOUNDED...DEATHS
03. War of 1812..........286,730.........4,505........2,260
04. Mexican War..........78,718..........4,152........1,733
05. Civil War ..........3,213,363..... 354,805.....191,963
06. Spanish American ..306,760..........1,662..........385
07. World War I........4,734,991.....204,002.......53,402
08. World War II......16,112,566.....671,846......291,557
09. Korean Conflict....5,720,000.....103,284........33,741
10. Vietnam Conflict...8,744,000.....153,303........47,424
11. Persian Gulf War...2,225,000..........467............147
American Military Casualties in Iraq as of April 18th, 2006
Wounded: 17,549 (9491 - Wounded and returned to Duty)
We Americans have expended much in blood, sweat and tears to obtain Freedom. This has been done for those in our own country as well as others around the world. Most of the conflict has been for just causes. Some has not. But, such is life.
Mr. Samuel Adams brings up some very good points in the statement at the top of the page. Such as; "Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say, 'What should be the reward of such sacrifices?'” Indeed, what have our fellow countrymen and women fought for? There are many different reasons and causes, to be sure. Some for noble purposes, others out of necessity and some that are questionable. But, the main reason would surely have to be tyranny and to gain freedom from its evil grasp.
Tyranny can manifest itself in many different ways. When it emanates from government or religion, is when it’s most deadly. But a tyrant doesn’t necessarily have to be a public official or one behind the pulpit. No, for as John of Salisbury in his famous book 'Policraticus' indicated, "...many private men are tyrants." The term I personally prefer is, ‘petty tyrants’. A petty tyrant can be found behind desks in all types of businesses, big and small. They can be a landlord, cook/chef, waitress, cashier, and various other assorted and sundry professions. In my mind, anyone who restricts or prohibits the rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution is a petty-tyrant.
The aspect of the growth and wide spread instances of petty-tyranny has been weighing more heavy on me of late. Is this what our forebears and present service people are fighting for? To give the opportunity, for all who desire, to become petty tyrants? As another quote from John of Salisbury points out "Everyone is tyrant who abuses any power over those subject to him which has been conceded from above." In the past, wars were fought to win Freedom and Liberty. And this was to secure and/or ensure that the basic rights of people were protected.
It is bad enough that we have a government that is steadily increasing in violating our rights. Government was originally formed to protect those very rights, by the way. The increase of these petty-tyrants is alarming. These people apparently believe that the position or wealth that they have been blessed with. Gives them authority to discard the Constitution and treat their fellow citizens as underlings. Or, even worse yet, exercise perverse power and control over others. This would naturally seem to be an extreme departure from the very founding principles of our once great nation.
The supposed recourse for this perversion was supposed to be our government. However, it appears government is more interested in joint encroachments with the private petty-tyrants. Provided of course, that those in the government get their piece of the pie. What both of these entities seem to have forgotten is that if it weren’t for the people they abuse, they wouldn’t have their positions or wealth. And as John of Salisbury also wrote, "All tyrants reach a miserable end." Small immediate comfort I know, but it does give us something to look forward to.
As one of our most intelligent former presidents noted,
"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."
- Thomas Jefferson