We at Civitas salute our veterans and active duty personnel on Veterans Day. We deeply appreciate the work they do and the risks they take to defend us and sustain freedom across the world.
The state’s military roots of course run deep, with patriots from the Tar Heel State fighting for freedom in the Revolutionary War even before the Declaration of Independence.
Our thoughts this day turn towards surviving veterans from the wars of our times. With the Greatest Generation passing from the scene, we should always remember the huge scale of the effort those men and women made. In World War II, about 258,000 North Carolinians served the Army, 90,000 in the Navy and 13,000 in the Marine Corps. In addition, the state hosted 24 military bases that trained more military personnel than any other state. Off the shores of the state, German U-Boat activity gave the Hatteras area the moniker “Torpedo Alley,” making it a key battleground in the war at sea. Meanwhile, North Carolina industry produced a vast array of products for the war effort, including ships, textiles, food and wood products.
World War II combat deaths for people from the state are listed as 7,109, with thousands of others wounded.
The sacrifices continued in later wars. In the Korean War, 788 members of the military from NC were killed. In Vietnam, 216,000 North Carolinians served, with 4,200 wounded and 1,624 killed.
In more recent conflicts, North Carolinians killed in action totaled 14 in the Persian Gulf War; 83 killed in fighting in Afghanistan; and 111 in the Iraq War.
Our men and women in uniform continue to have a huge impact on the state. According to the most recent figures, the state is home to 114,000 total personnel, including 22,000 civilian workers and active duty servicemen and women from all branches of the armed services.
In dangerous and difficult times, their service is more vital than ever. On Veterans Day, let us all remember those who have served in the past and continue to serve now, protecting our nation and guarding freedom everywhere.