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I just found out yesterday that one of my neighbors, who is in his early 20′s, has volunteered to go to Iraq. When asked why he made that decision his reply spoke volumes, “If I didn’t go then someone else would have to.” The reason we have the best military force in the world is because of soldiers who share that sense of sacrifice for the greater good. We are blessed to have so many young men and women of character serving under our flag.
On that note, on behalf of the Orange Juice blog team, I thank all of our men and women in the U.S. military for their service, on this Memorial Day, particularly those who served but did not come back alive and also the families of our service men and women, past and present. We would not enjoy our freedom without the greatest volunteer armed forces in the world.
There will be a regional Memorial Day service today, at 10 a.m., in Santa Ana, according to the O.C. Register. The Tustin area American Legion holds a Memorial Day Ceremony at the Santa Ana cemetery at Fairhaven Memorial Park. Orange, Tustin and Santa Ana participate in the yearly ceremony. There will be speeches, a laying of a wreath and color guard. Ceremony is held at the entrance at the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial.
For a complete list of Orange County Memorial Day events, click here.
Did you know that 69,000 foreign-born soldiers are currently serving in the U.S. military? These soldiers make up nearly 5% of the military personnel on active duty.
Latinos have served with distinction in the U.S. military since our nation’s inception, including nearly 500,000 in World War II, and nearly 40 Latinos have won our nation’s highest award, the Congressional Medal of Honor. More than 53,000 Hispanics were on active duty in 2003 and another 1.1 million are veterans of the U.S. military. Many have also been honored with American citizenship as a result of their military service; more than 25,000 immigrants who have served in the military have become U.S. citizens through a special wartime military naturalization statute. (National Council of La Raza)
Latinos are also paying the price in Iraq right now. Currently more Latinos have died in Iraq, in service to our country, than any other minority. In total over 400 Latinos have died in Iraq, comprising over ten percent of the fatalities. (See graphic above, courtesy of www.icasualties.org).
I wonder if anti-immigrants like Mimi Walters know that there are many Latino immigrants serving in our U.S. military right now? Somehow I doubt it.