(Trends Wide Español) — The United States celebrates Veterans Day this Thursday, a tribute to the men and women who have served in the armed forces over decades marked precisely by the many wars in which the country has participated.
Veterans Day has been observed since 1919, when the first anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I was marked on November 11, 1918.
He also observes from 1868, three years after the end of his only civil war, Memorial Day.
Here’s a look at the major armed conflicts the United States has been involved in since independence in 1776, which have taken the country to every corner of the globe, and the numbers of soldiers who died.
War of Independence (1775-1783)
George Washington led the continental United States Army during the War of Independence against the British Empire, and would later become the country’s first president.
An estimated 184,000 to 250,000 people fought on the US side, which suffered 4,435 dead and 6,188 wounded.
Anglo-American War (1812-1815)
The United States and Great Britain came into conflict again in 1812, and on August 24, 1814 the British came to occupy and then set fire to Washington, the American capital.
286,730 Americans served, including 2,260 dead and 4,505 wounded.
Mexican-American War (1846-1848)
The United States invaded Mexico with 78,718 soldiers, of whom 13,283 died and 4,152 were wounded. In the conflict, which originated after the independence of Texas, Mexico lost half of its territory.
Civil War (1861-1865)
After a group of southern states separated from the Union in the context of a long conflict centered on slavery, a long and devastating civil war took place between the United States and the Confederate States.
The Battle of Gettysburg, in Pennsylvania, was the largest and deadliest in the American civil war: in three days of fighting there were 51,000 casualties between both sides.
In total, 2,213,363 soldiers fought for the Union (there were 364,511 dead) and between 600,000 and 1,500,000 did so for the Confederate States (133,821 died)
Spanish-American War (1898)
The United States intervened in 1898 in the Cuban War of Independence in favor of the rebels and against Spain, later arriving to occupy the island.
306,760 Americans served, with 2,446 killed and 1,662 wounded.
World War I (1914-1918)
The United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, after the sinking of several American freighters by German submarines and the revelation of a proposal from Berlin to Mexico.
A total of 4,734,991 Americans served, and there were 116,516 killed and 204,002 wounded.
World War II (1939-1945)
After entering the conflict in December 1941, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States Army had its baptism of fire on February 19, 1943 at the Kasserine Pass, in Tunisia.
Then the war would take him to Italy, France, Germany and the islands of Melanesia in the Pacific Ocean.
16,112,566 Americans were called into service: 405,339 died and 670,846 were injured.
Korean War (1950-1953)
The United States participated in the Korean War in defense of the Republic of Korea in the south, after it was invaded by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the north, supported by China.
The conflict would culminate in an armistice and the separation of both countries, which persists to this day.
On the Korean peninsula, 5,720,000 Americans fought, 54,246 died and 103,284 were wounded.
Vietnam War (1955-1975)
The United States intervened in the Vietnam War in support of South Vietnam, initially with only advisers, funds, and weapons.
On August 2, 1964, ships from North Vietnam and the United States exchanged fire in the Gulf of Tonkin. Then the US president exaggerates the situation to get Congress to approve the massive deployment of soldiers, starting a larger-scale conflict: 8,744,000 served, 90,220 died and 153,303 were injured.
Gulf War (1990-1991)
In January 1991 the United States and its allies launched Operation Desert Storm, a ground assault to liberate Kuwait, occupied the previous year by Iraqi forces.
How many served? 2,322,000, and 1,948 deaths and 467 injuries were recorded.
Iraq War (2003-2011)
Saddam Hussein still ruled Iraq at the time of the 2003 US invasion, which led to a lengthy conflict first against soldiers loyal to Hussein and later against numerous insurgent factions.
4,431 American soldiers died during the war
Afghanistan War (2001-2021)
The United States and its allies launched Operation Enduring Freedom on October 7, 2001 with the aim of overthrowing the Taliban, believed to be protecting members of the al Qaeda terrorist group. The country withdrew from Afghanistan on August 30, 2021, 19 years and 10 months later.
2,442 American soldiers died