While America celebrates its birth some 237 years ago with picnics, fun and sun, fireworks and all of the other celebratory occasions, let us keep in mind that our country began in war, and has over and over again sent American citizens to war zones around the world.
That initial effort to get rid of English domination over America actually began on September 1, 1774 and lasted until September 3, 1783, nine years later. It resulted in the first Treaty of Paris in which Britain recognized the independence of American citizens. Many campaigns on American soil continued in war-like scenes throughout the former colonial states until late 1811.
We fought Indians. We fought the French, formerly our allies against the Brits. And on June 18, 1812, we began what’s known as our second War of Independence, the War of 1812 that lasted nearly three years and saw us again taking up arms against the British Empire and many nations of the Native Americans. Many dozens of conflicts later, we had spread our wings and had seen battles against little-then-known Fiji, Samoa and then took on Mexico. We saw soil in the Republic of Texas unite with us as we also absorbed California, New Mexico and Arizona. We took on Spain in the Caribbean Theater.
No minor skirmish, the 1860s came in what’s known as the American Civil War or War Between the States that saw families torn apart and unheard-of suffering.
World War I, or the Great War, followed on multiple continents. We took on Russia in their Civil War that brought down the Tzar of that nation. We had our hands in so many places around the world in World War II I truly don’t know how military commanders did it. Our participation came with the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, a U.S. protectorate. We fought for our freedom and that of our allies. Our participation in the Cold War lasted from 1947 to 1991 and ended with the dissolution of the Union of the Soviet Socialists Republic.
The Korean War. The first and second Indochina Wars. We had Americans involved in them, some as advisors. Then came Vietnam. Americans were involved for more than 20 years on Vietnamese soil. The War on Drugs. Iran and Iraq. Desert Storm. Bosnia. Kosovo. Our involvements in Kuwait and Afghanistan evolved into the War on Terror, still ongoing.
This list is only a partial recitation of Wikipedia’s extensive list of major armed conflicts where American troops have been involved. This week as we celebrate America’s Independence Day, please also think of our American citizens who have volunteered to put their lives in harm’s way to help our country and others, too, to maintain freedom and independence again and again. Happy birthday, America! Wear red, white and blue with pride in our nation. Treat our flag with respect.
Be proud of our country. It's the best one anywhere.