Dedication Date is September 7, 2014 @ 2:00 pm
World War I (WWI or WW1), also known as the First World War, was a global war centered in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. From the time of its occurrence until the approach of World War II in 1939, it was called simply the World War or the Great War, and thereafter the First World War or World War I. In America it was initially called the European War. More than 9 million combatants were killed: a scale of death impacted by industrial advancements, geographic stalemate and reliance on human wave attacks. It was the fifth-deadliest conflict in world history, paving the way for major political changes, including revolutions in many of the nations involved.
World War II (WWII or WW2), also known as the Second World War, was a global war. It is generally considered to have lasted from 1939 to 1945, although some conflicts in Asia that are commonly viewed as becoming part of the world war had been going on earlier than that. It involved the vast majority of the world’s nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, with more than 100 million people, from more than 30 different countries, serving in military units. In a state of “total war”, the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. Marked by mass deaths of civilians, including the Holocaust and the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare, it resulted in an estimated 50 million to 85 million fatalities. These made World War II the deadliest conflict in human history.
The Korean War (25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953) was a war between the Republic of Korea (South Korea), supported by the United Nations, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), at one time supported by the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union. It was primarily the result of the political division of Korea by an agreement of the victorious Allies at the conclusion of the Pacific War at the end of World War II. The Korean Peninsula was ruled by the Empire of Japan from 1910 until the end of World War II. Following the surrender of the Empire of Japan in September 1945, American administrators divided the peninsula along the 38th parallel, with U.S. military forces occupying the southern half and Soviet military forces occupying the northern half.
The Vietnam War (Vietnamese: Chiến tranh Việt Nam, in Vietnam also known as the American War, Vietnamese: Chiến tranh Mỹ, Kháng chiến chống Mỹ), also known as the Second Indochina War, was a Cold War-era proxy war that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from December 1956 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam—supported by China and other communist allies—and the government of South Vietnam—supported by the United States and other anti-communist countries. The Viet Cong (also known as the National Liberation Front, or NLF), a lightly armed South Vietnamese communist common front directed by the North, fought a guerrilla war against anti-communist forces in the region. The People’s Army of Vietnam (a.k.a. the North Vietnamese Army) engaged in a more conventional war, at times committing large units into battle. U.S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces, artillery, and airstrikes.
The Gulf War (2 August 1990 – 28 February 1991), codenamed Operation Desert Storm (17 January 1991 – 28 February 1991) was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States against Iraq in response to Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait.
The war is also known under other names, such as the Persian Gulf War, First Gulf War, Gulf War I, Kuwait War, or the First Iraq War, before the term “Iraq War” became identified instead with the 2003 Iraq War (also referred to in the U.S. as “Operation Iraqi Freedom”). Kuwait’s invasion by Iraqi troops that began 2 August 1990 was met with international condemnation, and brought immediate economic sanctions against Iraq by members of the U.N. Security Council. U.S. President George H. W. Bush deployed U.S. forces into Saudi Arabia, and urged other countries to send their own forces to the scene. An array of nations joined the Coalition, the biggest coalition since World War II. The great majority of the Coalition’s military forces were from the U.S., with Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and Egypt as leading contributors, in that order. Saudi Arabia paid around US$36 billion of the US$60 billion cost.
The War in Afghanistan (2001–present) refers to the intervention by NATO and allied forces in the Afghan political struggle, following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, to dismantle the al-Qaeda terrorist organization and to remove from power the Taliban government, which at the time controlled 90% of Afghanistan and hosted al-Qaeda leadership. U.S. President George W. Bush demanded that the Taliban hand over Osama bin Laden and expel the al-Qaeda network which was supporting the Taliban in its war with the Afghan Northern Alliance. The Taliban recommended that bin Laden leave the country but declined to extradite him without evidence of his involvement in the 9/11 attacks. The United States refused to negotiate and launched Operation Enduring Freedom on 7 October 2001 with the United Kingdom and later joined by Germany and other western allies, to attack the Taliban and al-Qaeda forces in conjunction with the Northern Alliance.
The Iraq War was an armed conflict in Iraq that consisted of two phases. The first was an invasion of Iraq starting on 20 March 2003 by an invasion force led by the United States. It was followed by a longer phase of fighting, in which an insurgency emerged to oppose the occupying forces and the newly formed Iraqi government. The U.S. completed its withdrawal of military personnel in December 2011. However, the Iraqi insurgency continues to cause thousands of fatalities.