American Soldiers at War

Memorial Day
Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan are putting themselves in harm's way to keep America safe from terrorist attacks.

The last Monday of May every year is Memorial Day. It is a holiday that dates back to the Civil War. It is a time to remember American soldiers who sacrificed their lives during wars. For Memorial Day this year, let’s look at some of the conflicts American soldiers are involved in today.

The United States has been at war in Afghanistan since 2001. It is the longest war the United States has ever fought in. The war started after a terrorist group [group that uses violence to get what they want] called al-Qaeda attacked the United States on September 11, 2001. They destroyed the World Trade Center in New York and damaged the Pentagon [the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense] in Washington DC. Many people died.

Members of al-Qaeda were hiding in Afghanistan. The government in Afghanistan, known as the Taliban, would not let the United States come get them. The United States attacked Afghanistan. They helped people inside Afghanistan overthrow the Taliban. However, when the United States tried to remove troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban begins to take back over. There are currently over 15,000 soldiers in Afghanistan. They are helping people in Afghanistan keep the Taliban from coming back.

In 2003 the United States also became involved in a war with Iraq. Iraq was ruled by a dictator named Saddam Hussein. The United States feared he would help terrorists attack the United States. U.S. troops were sent to Iraq to help overthrow Saddam Hussein. After Saddam Hussein was captured, many groups fought for control of Iraq. A terrorist group called ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) has taken control of parts of Iraq and Syria. The United States has kept troops in the area to help fight ISIS.

During these conflicts, over 6,000 American soldiers have died. On Memorial Day, it is important to remember soldiers that have given their lives to protect American. It is also important to think about the soldiers that are still in danger to keep us safe.

What Do You Think? How can we support soldiers who are willing to put themselves in danger for our country?

Photo Credit: DoD photo by Lance Cpl. Christopher G. Graham, U.S. Marine Corps