Some died rebelling against an oppressive imperial army. Some died to keep the Union from splitting apart over the ownership of other human beings. Some died trying to wrest control of the continent from the people who had occupied this land for millennia. Some died in wars of dubious worth. Some died to keep the world from being dominated by an insane dictator and his distorted idea of humanity. Way too many died in wars perpetrated by scurrilous politicians who were power hungry. Too many died in wars that wouldn't end because politicians did not have the courage to say, no more. Some died in a war started by a politician with daddy issues. Worst of all, those who died in war waged for profits.
It doesn't matter the reason or the outcome. It doesn't matter if they believed in what they were doing or not. All of those who served and died deserve our unwavering gratitude. All 1,189,457 of them.