A Memorial Day Weekend Tribute – 1996 Through 2014

The following began in 1996 as a special feature on a now-defunct Web site, to honor our war dead on Memorial Day. Updates followed annually with only a few editions omitted.

The series has been recompiled and presented here while keeping in mind all conflicts and wars in which our ancestors, brothers and sisters, parents, grandparents, relatives, good friends and members of their families have died fighting against what they and their countrymen believed was a direct threat to everyone’s freedom.

These brave individuals give their everything to protect and maintain our God-given rights, bestowed upon us by the authors of the American Constitution.

I began this tribute with honoring those from my generation onward, who have been affected by the tragedies of warfare, and the heart-wrenching consequences thereafter.

This doesn’t lessen the impact made from wars and conflicts ever since the Revolutionary War,  such as the War of 1812,  Spanish-American War, Civil War, both World Wars and the Korean Conflict. Forgive me if I failed to mention any, as the list is rather lengthy.

A table listing of wars involving the United States is found here.

Our thoughts go out to all our war dead.


At the six o’clock news every evening, we would sit, watch and pray that none of our relatives, or none of the neighborhood boys would be coming home in a body bag, listening to the casualty count given as if we were keeping score, and wishing it would all end soon!

In other news . . . McCarthy’s Youth Brigade

Tensions were at their peak as students demonstrating against the war and the present administration were subdued by Chicago police. College students entered national politics with an unprecedented passion in 1968, at McCarthy’s primary campaigns and at the National Democratic Convention as seen below.

Throughout this Memorial Day Weekend, we are to honor the Brave Men who Fought to the End for the Sake of Freedom!

Don’t Forget:

Those Soldiers all Around the World…still Fighting for the Price of Freedom


Above photos were sent to me by Felix, a fan of my Web site back in the day.

Crisis in The Balkans – Kosovo, 1999

Associated Press Photo
Refugees who were released from a Serb prison are loaded by NATO soldiers into military trucks in the Kukes town square, Albania; Monday, May 24, 1999; to be transported hours south of the border. As many as 1,000 men, who said they had been taken away by the Serbs from refugee convoys with their families in the past month and put in prison, have crossed into Albania over the weekend with stories of brutality and fears that they will not find their loved ones. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)


Associated Press Photo
A group of U.S. soldiers fortify an observation post on the Rinas airbase at Tirana airport, Saturday, May 22, 1999. Some six thousand U.S. troops have been deployed to Albania, as NATO discusses a plan for a peacekeeping force in Kosovo of about 50,000 troops. The United States would probably contribute 7,000 to 8,000 troops. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic).


Associated Press Photo
Sgt. 1st Class Dave Schad, 37, of Springfield, MO, sews his trousers as Sgt. Guadalupe Stratman of Stockdale, TX, fills the magazine of her M-16 rifle, outside a tent in the Rinas airbase on Tirana’s airport, Albania; on Sunday, May 23, 1999. Some six thousand U.S. troops were deployed to Albania earlier this year. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic).


Associated Press Photo
A Kosovo Liberation Army soldier holds a bouquet of flowers at the edge of a stage, given to her by a Kosovar refugee during a concert for ethnic Albanian refugees and residents of Kukes, Albania, Thursday May 20, 1999. KLA soldiers continue to battle Serbian forces along the Albania-Kosovo border near the refugee-crowded Kukes area and in pockets inside Kosovo. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)


Associated Press Photo
U.S. Army Spc. Steven Gonzales removes a yellow ribbon from a tree in the town square during a welcome-home parade in his honor on Saturday, May 22, 1999; in Huntsville, Texas. The 22-year-old cavalry scout was one of three soldiers captured March 31st by Yugoslavian troops. He was released 32 days later. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)


Associated Press Photo
Captain Christophe Merten of the French army greets ethnic Albanian refugee children at the Stenkovec refugee camp near Skopje, Macedonia, Friday May 21, 1999. Every day Captain Merten and his brigade walk to a hill above the camp to meet with refugees and have tea. The camp was built by French soldiers and currently has over 18,000 residents. (AP Photo/John McConnico)


China 2001

US Navy Photo
April 1st, 2001-A US EP-3 spy plane made an emergency landing on the Chinese Island of Hainan, after a mid-air collision with a Chinese fighter jet presumably killed its pilot, as the plane was never found after plunging into the sea. (US Navy Photo)


spaceimaging.com-Reuters File Photo
This image of the damaged American surveillance plane sitting on a runway at Lingshui military airfield on Hainan Island was collected in April by a commercial remote imaging satellite. (spaceimaging.com-Reuters File Photo)


CNN Photo
All 24 Crew Members were held captive for 11 days at the Chinese Air Base. (CNN Photo)


Dept of Defense Photo
Finally released, the crew began their journey home aboard a chartered Continental Airlines Jet. (Dept. of Defense Photo)


Dept of Defense Photo
All’s well that ends well!. The above photo is that of crew member Lt. Regina Kauffman. (Dept. of Defense Photo)


The world basically was at peace. Fortunately, the two super powers involved in this crisis remained level headed and poised. Sadly, a life was lost . . . that being the pilot of the Chinese fighter jet. Let us remember in our prayers this Memorial Day weekend, the repose of the soul of Wang Wei and for the well being of his wife and six year old son.

Wang Wei

Wang Wei…may he rest in peace!

11th September, 2001

Lest We Forget
On this Memorial Day Weekend, 2002, let us pause, reflect and honor our war dead. This past year, however, the thousands that gave their lives so unwillingly were mostly civilians, not suspecting that they were never to go home that evening after work. Many were Policemen and Firefighters who so unselfishly gave their lives trying to save those afflicted by the insane acts of terrorists.



8:45 A.M. A hijacked passenger jet, American Airlines Flight 11 out of Boston, Massachusetts, crashes into the north tower of the World Trade Center, tearing a gaping hole in the building and setting it ablaze.


World Trade Center
9:03 A.M. A second hijacked airliner, United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston, crashes into the south tower of the World Trade Center and explodes.


World Trade Center
9:17 A.M. The Federal Aviation Administration shuts down all New York City area airports. At 9:21 A.M., the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey orders all bridges and tunnels in the New York area closed.


Face of Satan
These images of mass devastation display an eerie resemblance of a laughing demon’s face.


Either having been thrown from the burning inferno due to explosions or resorting to bailing out, many fell to their deaths in a desperate attempt to escape the unimaginable.


10:05 A.M. The south tower of the World Trade Center collapses, plummeting into the streets below. A massive cloud of dust and debris forms and slowly drifts away from the building.

10:28 A.M. The World Trade Center’s north tower collapses from the top down as if it were being peeled apart, releasing a tremendous cloud of debris and smoke.

At 9:43 A.M., American Airlines Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon, sending up a huge plume of smoke. Evacuation begins immediately. A portion of the building collapses.

At 10:10 A.M., United Airlines Flight 93, also hijacked, crashes in Somerset County, Pennsylvania; southeast of Pittsburgh, believed to have been bound for Washington. It was through the valiant efforts of several brave passengers that thwarted the attempt made by the terrorists to crash into the White House.


Please take a moment during this Memorial Day Weekend to pay tribute to all who risked their very existence in trying to save those who were trapped during 9/11’s acts of terror. And above all, let us not forget the victims of these devastations, and the soldiers who gave their lives pursuing those responsible for the horrific events of 11 September, 2001.


God Bless America


Iraq 2003


I'll take over from here 45kb
Caricature drawn by a soldier in the Kuwaiti Desert while awaiting orders to move forward into Iraq.


Shock and Awe 47kbMore Shock and Awe 41kb
The US and Great Britain demonstrate their “Shock and Awe” campaign.


Left Behind 72kb
As coalition troops advanced towards Baghdad, traces of Iraqi military paraphernalia left behind by Iraqi soldiers were found in abandoned bunkers, supply depots, schools and other civilian compounds.


The fall of Baghdad begins 27kb
April 7th, Coalition Forces enter Baghdad for the final showdown


Baghdad Bob 16kb
Iraqi Minister of Propaganda, Baghdad Bob, insists that there are no ememy forces within the City of Baghdad


Presidental Palace 48kb
Meanwhile, American Forces secure a presidential palace in the heart of the capital.


Before 15kbAfter 26kb
The scene at top, and the after shot shown below it, portray the symbolic grip of the dictator, and the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi regime.

The work of Coalition Forces is not over yet. The rebuilding of war-torn Iraq and the stabilization of a despondent population lies ahead. Danger still lurks in every corner of this sacred land that bore the cradle of our society. Loss of life is still a great possibility, and the hope for safety of our troops is in our daily prayers.

The following was sent to this Webmaster the other day and is most appropriate to ponder during this Memorial Day Weekend:

This year let’s remember what Memorial Day is really about. It’s definitely not about shopping, sales and going on vacations. It’s about the many, many people that gave their lives in the service of our country.

It’s about the people that served and thankfully came home. It’s about the people that are serving now. So, take out a minute or two in between sucking down beers at the BBQ, cranking up the credit-card bill while out shopping or catching some rays on the beach vacation, to remember what this holiday is really about.

To those who have died serving the US, we remember and honor you; to those who made it home and to those serving now – Thank You. Never Forget & God Bless America.

Johnny Hellmaster 05/21/03

Akiko White and daughter Courtney 24kb

Akiko White, wife of Navy pilot Lt. Nathan D. White, and her daughter, Courtney; placed their hands over their hearts during the pilot’s burial at Arlington National Cemetery on April 24, 2003. Nathan White, who was based in Japan, was killed April 2 in a friendly-fire accident involving a Patriot missile over Iraq.

Jessica Lynch 22kb
On March 23rd, a maintenance crew made a wrong turn in the desert, only to be ambushed and captured. Among them was an injured young woman from West Virginia, who stole the hearts of all who witnessed the news broadcasts that ensued. On April 1st, American Commandos found Jessica Lynch and announced to her that they were American soldiers; to which this brave young lady replied, “I’m an American soldier too!” God bless you, Jessica.

There’s a happy ending to this tale. All seven of the other surviving POWs returned home to America on April 19th.

God Speed and God Bless all Freedom Fighters Abroad 10kb

God Speed and Come Home Soon!

Iraq 2004


May 20th 2004 35kb
Result of a car bomb at the front door of the al-Karma Hotel. Four people were injured and an 11 year old boy was killed during the incident


Danger lurks in every corner 13kb

Over 800 American Soldiers have died serving America in this war-torn country while attempting to let freedom ring for the Iraqi People. The work of our military is far from over as danger continues to lurk in totally unexpected venues

Memorial Day has been set aside for all Americans to remember those who lost their lives in defense for that which America stands: the right to pursue life, liberty and individual freedom.

Eight hundred lives lost in Iraq are a substantial amount especially for the families and loved ones of those who passed away. May their grief be resolved with the knowledge that throughout the history of America, many have lived through more devastating conflicts and were able to continue on to better times for all.

Let us consider the number of war dead from previous military encounters:






Bunker Hill cost 400 American lives

of 1812






Civil War







Antietam cost 5,000 lives on both sides: bloodiest day in American history




World War I


Battle of Somme cost 19,240 British lives on a single day (total British casualties: 57,470)

World War II



Other Losses:

Soviet: 10,000,000

German: 3,500,000

Japan: 1,500,000

British: 280,000

At Dunkirk the
British suffered 68,000 casualties

Korean War



Vietnam War



Panama invasion



War (1991)



Source: History News Network

There are perhaps dozens of battles in American history in which more than 800 deaths resulted. A few examples:


  • D-Day: approximately 2,500
  • 9/11/01: 3,047 (+/- 2,823 at WTC, 184 at the Pentagon, and 40 in Pennsylvania–excluding terrorists)
    Nick Berg 11kb
    Nick Berg
    Let us not forget American Citizens who have died during the course of this War in Iraq


    Please take a moment away from this weekend’s merriment to pay homage to those who won’t be making the party, and give thanks to them who gave their lives protecting our homes in America, from such atrocities as are evident in the countries where they had served.

    Godspeed 24kb
    Godspeed and come home soon!


    Iraq 2005


    Caught with his pants down 20kb
    With the Old Regime behind bars, War in Iraq continues to this day!


    Danger lurks in every corner 23kb
    “The Middle East is more secure than a year ago because of positive developments both in Iraq and the Arab-Israeli conflict,” one of the world’s top think tanks said in its annual survey of global security. But the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said Iraq remained an inspiration for Islamic militants, helping al Qaeda to recruit and continue to pose a threat to countries around the world. Shown above, an Iraqi border police officer conducts a patrol to guard oil refineries in the Southern Iraqi City of Basra.


    War Rages On 13kb
    A U.S. Army Humvee burns after a car bomb attack in Baghdad on May 24, 2005. Insurgents killed three U.S. soldiers and two Iraqis in car bomb attacks in central Baghdad on that date, a day after a wave of suicide attacks and bomb blasts killed at least 56 Iraqis. At least 620 people, including 57 U.S. troops, have been killed since April 28, when Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari announced his new Shiite-dominated government. Washington hopes his government will eventually train police and an army capable of securing Iraq, allowing the withdrawal of coalition troops.


    War is Hell 21kb
    Map locates Haswa and Baghdad, Iraq, where U.S. soldiers were killed.


    War is Hell 21kb
    BAGHDAD, Iraq (May 24) – A car bomb exploded Tuesday near a Baghdad junior high school for girls, killing six people; and eight American soldiers were killed in two days of insurgent attacks in and around Baghdad, the military said.




    Innocent Bloodshed 11kbInnocent Bloodshed 23kb
    Richard and Claire Leger(left) of Ottawa, Canada, listen as U.S. Army Sgt. Erik Alderin of McClusky, ND (right), explains on Monday, May 23, 2005, at Fort Campbell, Ky; the enscription on a monument honoring their son, Sgt. Marc Leger; and three other Canadian soldiers who were killed during an accidental American bombing in Afghanistan. The names of the four Canadians were added Monday to a memorial, honoring slain members of the 101st Airborne Division.


    Former Arizona Cardinal Pat Tillman 19kbFor God and Our Country 15kb
    Pat Tillman, who gave up a lucrative NFL contract with the Arizona Cardinals to join the Army Rangers, was killed the April before last, not by Afghan guerrillas, but by his Ranger colleagues as a result of mistaken identity.

    During this and every Memorial Day Weekend, we are to pay homage to those who have fallen while protecting our God-given right to Freedom. Let us not forget those who are risking their lives so that we may enjoy the fruits of democracy!

    Godspeed 24kbGodspeed 24kb
    Godspeed and come home soon!


    The Iraq War Continues in 2006


    Many parallels are being drawn between the present day war in Iraq, with Vietnam from over 30 years ago. Our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters continue to come home in body bags as a result of an increasingly unpopular war. Demonstrations are multiplying throughout the US and the World, protesting our involvement in a war that many think is unjustified.

    Aside from all of that, the main concern of most is the safety of our troops in Iraq, the surrounding territories of Afghanistan, and elsewhere in the Middle East while wishing this madness will all end soon!

    Below is the tally of the war dead and injuries as a result of combat since the start of the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.

    Summary of casualties of the invasion of Iraq:
    Possible estimates on the total number of people killed in the invasion and occupation of Iraq vary widely. All estimates below are as of 19 May 2006, and include both the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the following Post-invasion Iraq, 2003-2006.

    Iraqi Deaths 30,000-100,000 (The lower figure was given by G. W. Bush in a public speech on December 12, 20051; the higher one comes from the September 2004 Lancet study). Lancet study.
    U.S. armed forces 2,454 total deaths, 17,648 combat wounded (8,302 evacuated), plus an unknown number of non-combat injuries. [31], [32]
    Armed forces of other coalition countries 222 (111 British, 31 Italian, 18 Ukrainian, 17 Polish, 13 Bulgarian, 11 Spanish, 1 Australian, 20 other) [33]
    Non-Iraqi civilians Unknown, but at least 568 (311 contractors, 87 journalists, 20 media support workers, and 150 aid workers). [34], [35], etc


    Above information courtesy of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Since last year to present, 837 troops have died serving their countries for the cause of freedom. Amongst that total were 799 Americans, 23 Briton & 15 from Australia, Italy, Romania and other coalition forces. For a comprehensive list of the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count; complete with names, ages, location & cause of death, home towns, states and countries, Click Here


    During this holiday weekend, between frolicking at the shore, barbecuing at the lake or in our back yards, while partying and welcoming the summer of 2006; let us ponder the true meaning of Memorial Day: remembering and paying tribute to our brave sons and daughters, brother and sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews, uncles, aunts or possibly grandfathers, grandmothers and good friends with whom we grew up; for those who gave their lives protecting our freedom to enjoy what we will be enjoying this weekend, we are forever grateful! Please take a moment and reflect. Thank their spirits for protecting ours.

    2007… When will this war end?


    Another year has passed, and now 3,455 soldiers have died since the Iraq War started on the third of March, 2003. One thousand and thirty-two individuals have been killed while serving in this war since this time last year. When will the killing end?

    This death count includes soldiers from the UK, Australia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Ukrain and the United States. God rest their souls!

    For a listing of the War Dead…Click Here

    2008… More have fallen and won’t be forgotten!

    For a listing of the War Dead…Click Here

    Whilst not having forgotten, one must look forward and pray for the well being of our future guardians of freedom!

    Remembering those brave individuals who gave their lives so selflessly, that we can live free; that we can enjoy our get togethers and holiday festivities; that we can live without dictatorial oppression. When will this war end?

    Memorial Day 2010

    We thank you for your ultimate sacrifices, so that we shall remain free.

    For a listing of the War Dead…Click Here

    In Remebrance of the Innocent Civilian Casualties Who Have Paid the Price for Freedom.


    Memorial Day 2012

    Last Year’s newspaper, seen above, proclaimed Osama Bin Laden was dead on May 2, 2011. A year has passed since then, and the threat of terroristic activity still looms, something for which we have consistently kept up our guard since 2001; but thank goodness in the US, it has been kept under control. However, two of America’s NATO partners, England and Spain, weren’t as fortunate, with the devastation from the London bombings of July 7, 2005; and the Madrid bombings of March 11, 2004. Our thoughts this weekend should include the innocent bloodshed and death that prevailed during those horrific events.

    Also in 2011, catching up for missing an entry in this anthology of Memorial Day Weekend tributes, President Obama announced the end of the Iraq war, claiming nearly all troops would return home by last year’s end. His promise was kept; the remaining combat troops left in early December 2011, ending an almost nine-year war that claimed nearly 4,500 American lives and cost almost $1 trillion.

    Now the NATO forces are calling for complete withdrawal of all military in Afghanistan by next summer. Thirty-three thousand US troops had been sent to that Middle East country in 2009, where presently twenty-three thousand Americans remain. We hope for their safe return home soon, as well as all the militia involved. Coalition leaders insist on total withdrawal of combat troops by the end of 2014. According to the New York Times, as of this writing:

    The Department of Defense has identified 1,965 American service members who have died as a part of the Afghan war and related operations. It confirmed the death of the following American recently: FIELDS, Arronn D., 27, Specialist, Army; Terre Haute, IN, 81st Troop Command, Indiana National Guard; [requiescat in pace]


    Memorial Day Weekend 2013

    Operation Iraqi Freedom is over and all our troops from there have returned home; however, US soldiers and Afghanistan coalition forces are still fighting and being killed in action. For a listing of war dead from the aforementioned conflicts, click here

    Last September 11th, a series of terrorist attacks were directed against United States diplomatic missions worldwide, as well as those of Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In the US, opinions were divided over whether the attacks were a reaction to a YouTube trailer for the film Innocence of Muslims. In Libya, among the dead was US ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

    Christopher Stevens

    On April 15th, terrorism reared its ugly head once again on American soil, but this time the melee was not affiliated with any established terror network. Two crazed immigrant brothers from the Russian Federation set off two pressure-cooker bombs at the Boston Marathon, in Boston, Massachusetts; killing 3 and injuring 264 others. The photos of the event were so horrific, I felt posting the actual pictures would be in bad taste. Although the catastrophe was not military in nature, the American deaths of those involved should be memorialized as well during this Memorial Day Weekend.

    Boston Marathon bombing victims Krystle Campbell, Martin Richard and Lingzi Lu.

    Sean Collier, 26-year-old campus officer with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, shot and killed by the brothers suspected in the Boston Marathon bombings.

    2014 Memorial Day Weekend: Withdrawal of Our Troops from Afghanistan Continues

    The United States have warned the Afghan Government that, if they do not sign a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA)—which details the US’s future presence in that country—involving the training of Afghan National Security Forces, and counterterrorism forces who will focus mainly on high-profile targets, all American military personnel will leave Afghanistan permanently at the end of this year. With the agreement, all combat missions will cease and a minimum of 10,000, and possibly 20,000 troops, will remain. The current president, Hamid Karzai, has refused to sign the BSA before he leaves office, leaving the matter to his successor, for which the two remaining candidates for the Afghan presidency have stated they will sign the already proposed agreement if elected. The final vote for office takes place on June 14th.

    Meanwhile, troops from all but one British military base outside of Camp Bastion have been withdrawn, leaving 5,000 troops in the country. All are expected to be gone by the end of 2014.

    Our soldiers remain in danger; and with skirmishes all over the globe: Libya, Syria, the Ukraine, our military presence in Africa, the heightened tensions in Asia with China’s expansionism in the China Sea and the continuing nuclear threat from North Korea, fear for the safety of our troops in the sustainable future lay heavy in this writer’s mind.

    But this weekend is for remembering those brave, unselfish individuals who gave their lives for protecting our freedom, and for that of our military allies around the world. The recent death count for the men and woman who served in our armed forces has dropped considerably since the beginning of the Middle East Crisis in 2001. For the 2014 count please click here.

    From this point onward, updates will be written as separate entities for the respective annual entry. The year 2015 was omitted but the saga continues with 2016, which can be found by clicking here please.


    In Memory of:

    All Soldiers from Around the World,
    who lost their lives for the Cost of Freedom!



About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at Lulu.com.
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3 Responses to A Memorial Day Weekend Tribute – 1996 Through 2014

  1. Anonymous says:

    A great tribute! Looks like you put a lot of work into this.

    • Memorial Day Weekend Tribute

      Thanks. This is actually a compilation begun in 1996 until present, already written except for 2012, which I wrote last night. The HTML coding of the project here on Live Journal took the most work. I appreciate your kind comments.

  2. Anonymous says:


    Save yourself sometime Mike & go cordless or remember Victor Kyam? He liked the Remmington so much he bought the company

    Shirley Ann

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