That is the number of US military personnel who have died at war.
Today is Memorial Day, a day for us to remember and honor those who have fallen.
For many, this is a day for cookouts, fireworks, vacations and spending time with loved ones.
For some, this is just another day to mourn their lost spouse, parent, child, sibling, friend.
Let’s be very clear: the best way to honor the fallen is to stop the wars that continue to send more to join them.
Millions of Americans, some of the best salt-of-the-earth people in this country, swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. They join to protect the American people and our freedoms, with promises of financial and educational support.
Instead, they are sent overseas by domestic enemies to fight, and possibly to die, to protect foreign dictators, cartel bosses, central bankers, and defense contractors.
Back home, we are less free, less safe and more at risk of blowback.
Most of those good folks come home, often with PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, chronic pain and other ailments. They are subjected to the worst healthcare system in this country, they suffer from some of the highest rates of poverty, homelessness, imprisonment, addiction, overdose and suicide.
They signed up to protect us, and our government used them and spat them out to rot.
But today is about the ones who came home in flag-draped caskets.
They signed up to protect us, and never made it back.
Their families and friends have to find a way to move on with their lives, always aware of that giant gaping void that their loved one’s loss left.
And the monsters who sent them to die wave little flags and make pandering statements about how “some gave all”, while they send the next batch of victims off.
It is long past time for this to end.
I’ve heard from countless active duty personnel, veterans, and families who’ve lost their loved ones, and they have all asked the same thing: please demand an end to the wars.
Bring them home, for good.
On this Memorial Day, enjoy the time with your loved ones, remember those who can’t join us, and commit yourselves to demand that our government end the wars and bring the troops home.
1,186,000 is far too many already.
Let’s honor the fallen by reclaiming the living.
✍️ Credits: Spike Cohen, 2020 Libertarian Vice Presidential Candidate