June 3, 2004

Not gold but only men can make...

Take a look at this Memorial Day post by Athena. It has, among other things, the number (or estimates) of battle deaths and wounded for all our wars. Also "other deaths in service" starting with the Mexican War. Interestingly, WWII is the first war where battle deaths are higher than "other deaths in service."

There's also this poem:

A Nation's Strength

What makes a nation's pillars high
And it's foundations strong?
What makes it mighty to defy
The foes that round it throng?

It is not gold. Its kingdoms grand
Go down in battle shock;
Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,
Not on abiding rock.

Is it the sword? Ask the red dust
Of empires passed away;
The blood has turned their stones to rust,
Their glory to decay.

And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown
Has seemed to nations sweet;
But God has struck its luster down
In ashes at his feet.

Not gold but only men can make
A people great and strong;
Men who for truth and honor's sake
Stand fast and suffer long.

Brave men who work while others sleep,
Who dare while others fly...
They build a nation's pillars deep
And lift them to the sky.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Posted by John Weidner at June 3, 2004 9:48 AM
Weblog by John Weidner