It is impossible to know exactly how many Everett men and women have joined the armed forces of the United States during war and peace since the nation was founded.
It is, we believe in the tens of thousands, beginning mainly with the Civil War and extending to the modern era when Everett men and women have served in World War2, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and throughout the world wherever American armed forces are deployed.
Signing your life away to the United States Armed forces takes courage.
The United States has been in a state of ready or perpetual war since our founding in 1776.
During that period, millions of men and women have signed up and served, or been conscripted and served, and have died in battles and engagements all over the world for the protection of liberty and democracy.
World War was the last great unquestioned engagement for us on the world stage.
We helped to save the world from tyranny in the greatest struggle in world history.
There was no second guessing in that world war which took so many millions of lives.
Everything that has followed has been a test of our resolve and of our reason.
Pope John honored Military Veterans all across the country in their latest win at Everett Stadium this past weekend, hand flying the United States flag throughout the entire game – a rain soaked one – without letting it ever touch ground or flagpole.
The flag flying that day as a show of honor and respect for all the brave service members past and present was being held by a former player of Pope John assistant coach Mark Silvestri, who is a United States Army vet.
The flag, gifted to the team by coach Silvistri on the way to Cape Cod to play St. John Paul High School during week 5 of the regular season, rode the wind especially in his honor that night.
It is impossible for many of us from my generation – Baby Boomer – to understand what it was like for the young men and women of this city who signed away their lives to the United States of America during World II and who were sent to the far edges of this earth into war-torn infernos to sacrifice their lives, to be wounded and then to return.
Such is the case in every war commemorated by Veterans Day.
World War 1 saw 100,000 American men and women die in that exclusively European conflict which brought all the horrors of modern warfare to the misery of the trenched fields and open spaces upon which that war was waged.