In God We Trust
The Richmond Hill Veterans Monument is dedicated to the men and women of the U.S. armed forces who have served our great nation throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. But the history of sacrifice and duty to our nation weaves a patriotic tapestry that stretches back much further.
From the Revolutionary War through the War Between the States and to the War on Terrorism. The men and women who answered the call to duty have served as a beacon of light to guide this nation through turbulent times, they have risen to the challenge time and time again from the Battle of Yorktown to the bloody fields of Gettysburg to the lush Quang Tri Province to the streets of Baghdad.
Many made the ultimate sacrifice for a cause in which they believed. A cause just in principle and right in vision. The lives lost in this nation's defense should constantly remind us that freedom is not free, but is paid for with the blood of patriots.
This country's military has fought bravely and valiantly to preserve and protect the freedoms enjoyed by its citizens and others around the world. As we look forward to the rest of the 21st century. İtis certain that our service members will continue to ring the bells of freedom - with chimes heard loud and clear - in a world fraught with danger.
World War I
that began on July 28, 1914 and continued for more than four years sent millions to their deaths during World War I. Casualties on both sides exceed 37 million. More than 10 million civilians also lost their lives during the war. Which ended with the signing of the armistice on Nov. 11, 1918.
The financial cost for all parties exceeded $186 billion.
Hopes were high that from the killing fields of Verdun and the muddy waters of the Marne would come a lasting peace. But those hopes were shattered less than 21 years later when German expansionist policies in the late 1930s pushed the world to the brink of war. The peace treaties that emerged from conferences at Versailles. Sevres, Saint - Germain, etc. were unable to prevent yet another worldwide war.
World War II
World War II was a global conflict that claimed the most lives lost in war in human history. It started in 1939 as a conflict in Europe between Germany and the Anglo - French coalition but eventually spread to most nations of the world. When it ended, it had claimed millions of lives from European battlefields to the barren North African desert to the oceans of the pacific.
With the surrender of Germany on May 7, 1945 and Japan on Sept. 2, 1945, the most costly war in history came to an end in economic terms, the United States spent an estimated $341
billion to defeat Germany, Japan and their allies.
In the final phase of the war, two new weapons were introduced: the atomic bomb and the long range rocket. From a human standpoint, the United States suffered 292,131 battle deaths and 115,187 deaths from other causes. Worldwide death attributable to the war are estimated at 60 million, including civilians and those who lost their lives in the holocaust.
Following World War II, a new order would be dictated by two world powers: the United States and the Soviet Union.
The Korean war was America's first ideological conflict, fought on the Korean peninsula more than 16 million service members worldwide took part in the war that was the first large scale clash between forces of the free world and communism.
Originally begun as a war between South Korea and North Korea, there were more than 23,000 U.S. combat deaths more than any other event. It signaled the beginning of the cold war mobilization for the U.S. and NATO. When North Korea invaded South Korea, on June 25.1950, the united states responded by sending supplies and soon after broadened its commitment by sending troops cease fire talks began on July 10, 1931 and continued intermittently for more than two years.
After considerable difficulties the truce agreement was signed at Panmunjom
in July 1953. The United States suffered 157,530 casualties: more than 33,000 deaths from all causes of which more than 23,000 occurred in combat.
The fight against communism and North Vietnam was sparked by the notion that if South Vietnam fell to communism, other nations in southeast Asia would follow.
The withdrawal of American troops, known as part of "Vietnamization" began in 1969. The last Americans left Vietnam in April 1975.
"The men and women of Vietnam fought for freedom in a place where liberty was in danger. They put their lives in danger in a land far away from their own. Many sacrificed their lives in the name of duty, honor and country.
All were patriots who lit the world with fidelity and courage."
President Ronald Reagan
Persian Gulf War
In August 1990, more than 150,000 Iraqi soldiers invaded Kuwait and easily captured the country against an opposing force of just 20,000 Kuwaiti soldiers. Many of the invaders were war - hardened veterans of the war between Iraq and Iran.
By early morning Aug. 3, Iraq had captured Kuwait's capital city and complete control of the country occurred quickly. The capture of Kuwait supported an Iraqi claim that Kuwait was part of the old Ottoman Empire and therefore, part of Iraq.
United Nations and the Arab League condemned the invasion and economic sanctions were put in place. Less than 10 days after the invasion, an international force, led by the United States, began to gather in Saudi Arabia. With more than 400,000 U.S. troops and 200,000 others from countries across the world, the international force was set. Still other countries provided medical and financial support in lieu of troops.
The United Nations security council passed a resolution on Nov. 29, 1990 authorizing the member states to "use all necessary means" to force the Iraqis from Kuwait if they remained in the country beyond Jan. 15, 1991.
On Jan. 17, coalition forces began a massive attack against Iraqi interests. The coalition forces took uncontested command of the skies soon after. On Feb. 23, the ground offensive began. The war ended 100 hours later with the unconditional withdrawal of Iraqi troops and the re-raising of the emirates flag in Kuwait city on Feb. 27.
War on Terror
The war on terror took on renewed meaning after the events of Sept. 11, 2001. International terrorists sought to bring the united states to its knees with the bombings of the world trade center and the pentagon. More than 3,000 deaths occurred on U.S: soil that day. A determined president George W. Bush addressed Americans soon after with
a promise that his government would root out terrorists no matter where they hid. Within months the terrorist organization known as the Taliban was on the run in Afghanistan. Routed from their mountainous hiding places, the Taliban government quickley fell and departed the country. A little more than a year later President Bush sent American troops into Iraq to topple a government long suspected of harboring terrorists links to the terrorist organization Al - Qaida. The fall of Iraq took weeks, not years to accomplish.
Al - Qaida terrorists and others supporting their cause went underground in an attempt to evade capture would purvey although hundreds of Americans have died in the war on terrorism. The cause is just to rid the world of those who their change through mass killing and terror against innocent men, women and children. Unlike any other war, the war on terror is not fought with conventional troops against a conventional enemy. It is fought one terrorist at a time. It will be a long war, but one that will be won.