Today the United States is celebrating Memorial Day, a day when the fallen soldiers are remembered/honored. In November, Veterans Day is celebrated, honoring all men and women who served in the US military.
I am originally from Sweden, a neutral country who have not been in a formal war since 1809. Despite this, Swedish soldiers have fought and died in several wars since then, though. In 1940, many Swedes volunteered to help Finland in the Winter War against the invading Soviet Union.
In the early 1960’s, Sweden sent ground troops as well as jet fighters to Congo during the Katanga crisis.
Sweden has also lost troops in Afghanistan, where about 500 Swedish soldiers currently are part of ISAF. Five Swedish soldiers and one dual-citizen Swedish-Norwegian who was serving with the Norwegian forces have been killed this far. They are pictured below.
So my Memorial Day is not just to honor the men and women of the United States armed forces who died over the years, but all soldiers who served their countries to the best of their ability and paid the ultimate price.
In my close family, I have my uncle Karl-Heinz, whom I am named after. He served in the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) during WWII, first as a glider pilot, later in an anti-aircraft artillery unit.
Unteroffizier (NCO) Karl-Heinz Groeling
Note: I wrote this entry over the weekend, but due to the BleedYellow blogs having technical issues, I was not able to post it until this morning.