This is a day of memoriam, not of celebration . . . “happy” does not EVER apply.
I originally published this article back on the previous version of this site, eight years ago, and thought it overdue for a republish. My source material at the time was an interoffice email, circa 1998, from a shipmate (with whom I’m still in touch), whose letter I’d still had in my digital files, but have since lost. At least to me, the original author is unknown.
As the graphic below illustrates, a mere seven percent of the total American population have ever served in military forces of the United States. (I remember reading somewhere that only 1% of the total American population is currently serving.) To make this number a tad more practical, if you were to door-knock any random twenty houses in your neighborhood, statistically only one of those households would contain someone who’s active duty, a reservist, a guardsman, a retiree, or other veteran.
On a day dedicated to national memoriam, we do well to properly remember those who’ve served, even if we cannot personally name even one of them.