The First Barbary War of 1801-1805 that took US Marines and soldiers in the words of the US Marine Corps' hymn “to the shores of Tripoli” in an anti-piracy campaign is the first time that the youthful United States – then only 18 years old – projected power beyond its shores and hoisted the Stars and Stripes in the Old World.
Since the Barbary War a combination of the US Navy, US Marines, the US Army and later the US Air Force have extended American influence around the world and sought out and punished or defeated individuals and groups that threatened international stability. In 1853 the flotilla of US Navy warships to the Japanese “black ships” under command of Commodore Mathew Perry arrived in Tokyo Bay and began the process that opened the medieval society of Japan to the West and changed the world forever.
It has been argued that American participation in the two World Wars – participation that ensured the defeat of Imperial and later Nazi Germany – also ensured that continental Europe was not dominated and controlled by one power. In the Cold War it was US military power that ensured that the tanks and troops of an at times irrational Soviet Union did not role westwards from the borders of East Germany and trigger World War III.
The cost of being an international policeman can be high in blood and treasure and the United States has found, as did Britain, that it can be internationally challenging and sometimes unpopular. However Europe should be grateful that with generosity and good grace the USA and its Armed Forces have borne this burden throughout the turbulent years of 20th Century.
Please visit our dedicated US Spirit of Remembrance website
We would like to share a very special video that tells the story of the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in France
We would also like to promote a wonderful booklet about the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery which is published by the ABMC
Spirit of Remembrance arranges tour to this and other American cemeteries - please click here to enquire