Memorial Day is a time to pause and remember the men and women who died while serving in our armed forces. “Nearly 7,000 Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice” in the last decade, noted Obama in a speech last week at the National Defense University. “Many more have left a part of themselves on the battlefield, or brought the shadows of battle back home.”
The human costs and financial costs (now over $1 trillion) of the wars we’ve been fighting are enormous. In the first part of this week’s OurValues series, I want to combine our reflections on the fallen with a question about our future:
How important is it to continue to be Number 1 militarily?
More than six of ten Americans say it’s important for the U.S. to be the top military power in the world, according to a recent Gallup poll. Republicans are much more likely to say so. Eight of ten Republicans say it’s important for the U.S. to be Number 1 militarily, compared to 48% of Democrats.
Americans have felt this way for a long time. Since 1993, Gallup has asked about the importance of being Number 1 militarily—and a majority of Americans each time has said that it’s important to hold the top spot. There has been a range, however. The low since 1993 was 59%, while the high was 70%.
Whether or not you think we should be the top military power, do you think that we actually are? Just half (50%) say that we are the Number 1 military power, according to the 2013 Gallup poll. The percentage was 63% in 1993, which fell to 51% in 1999. By 2010, the percentage saying we are Number 1 had risen to 64%. There has been a 14 percentage point drop in that response over the past three years.
Do you believe it’s important to be Number 1 militarily?
How will you honor the nation’s fallen on this day of remembrance?
Please leave a comment below:
- Our Military: How important is being Number 1?
- Our Military: How did you spend Memorial Day?
- Our Military: Do you recognize Faces of the Fallen?
- Our Military: Cut it? Fund it? How does your opinion stack up?