Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
2009.05.25 : In Memorium
Memorial Day 2009
And Len Fuchs On How The Pacific Was Won
"At the core, the American citizen soldiers knew the difference between right and wrong, and they didn't want to live in a world in which wrong prevailed. So they fought, and won, and we all of us, living and yet to be born, must be forever profoundly grateful."
- Stephen E. Ambrose,
Citizen Soldiers

Special Forces veteran and now Iraq and Afghanistan war correspondent Michael Yon puts it better than I could.

Memorial Day is upon us, and for most Americans that means the first holiday weekend of a new summer. For most, it's time to dust off the barbecue pit or head to the nearest beach or hit the mall for the big sales.

For those who wear, or have worn, the uniform and those who love them, however, it means something different: It's a time to remember those who've fallen in defense of our country in the 234 years since the first American soldier died in a rebellion against a king.

During this time, some 43 million Americans have served under arms in our wars, 655,000 have died in battle and more than 1.4 million have been wounded in combat.

Our two ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have claimed the lives of 4,963 American troops, and 34,000 others have been wounded in combat.

For our remaining World War II veterans, the days dwindle down to a precious few. Some of their veterans associations held their last reunion this past year; too few are left to gather again. Fewer than 5 million are left of the 15 million who wore the uniform between 1941 and 1945, and they're disappearing from among us at the rate of 30,000 each day.

However you celebrate Memorial Day this year – however happy or solemn the occasion – spare a thought and a moment of silence in memory of all those who purchased your freedom with their lives, and of all those who defend it still.

Leonard Fuchs | Coast Guard Combat Medic | 1922 - 2007

Len Fuchs on why we won the war in the Pacific (as interviewed by the Palm Beach Post):

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close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

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