From 1775 to today, more than 1.3 million American servicemen and women have paid the ultimate price in defending this nation. They died on countless fields in every corner of the world. They fell to lead shot and explosive shell, at the point of a sword, arrow or spear, or succumbed to tropical disease.
Some volunteered; others were drafted. They represent nearly every possible combination of race and ethnicity. In the end, what united them was their willingness to give their all to protect the American way of life.
They may not have thought about it in those terms. They may have been fighting for independence, to preserve the Union, for state’s rights, to strike back at the Hun, to keep the world free from the Nazi menace. They fought for their family and friends back home, for the girl they left behind, and for their buddies standing alongside them in the trenches. They fought for duty. For honor. For glory. Their reasons were as varied and nuanced as they were.
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