Some of you may recognize the quote that headlines this posting as being from the Greek philosopher Plato. Plato believed that one of the reasons that the Olympic Games existed in ancient times was for the training of both body and soul that would be required in times of military conflict. Whether he is right or wrong is a matter for personal conscience but one thing that cannot be denied is that, since the advent of the modern Games, many Olympians have fought and died as soldiers or have been killed as part of a myriad of conflicts across the globe.
On the day which Americans call Veterans Day and which other countries call Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, we can indeed remember them.
http://www.sports-reference.com currently lists 752 casualties of war on our website.
The full list is, sadly, too long to list here but is available at http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/friv/lists.cgi?id=65
However we can list a dozen representative examples.
Ron Zinn (USA)
Although assumed deceased, technically still listed as MIA (missing in action) in Vietnam.
Janusz Zalewski (Poland)
Member of the Polish resistance. Injured during the 1944 Warsaw Rising, he was murdered along with fellow hospital patients and medical staff during Nazi reprisals.
Teófilo Yldefonso (Phillipines)
Killed in concentration camp Capas, following the Bataan Death March.
Tony Wilding (New Zealand)
Joined the British army and was leading an armoured car unit when he was killed at Aubers Ridge during the Battle of Neuve-Chapelle.
Silvano Abbà (Italy)
Abbà was a military man, who led the Italian Savoy Cavalry squadron in August 1942 at the Battle of Izbushensky near Volgograd. Abbà was killed, along with 700 other riders who were slaughtered by the Soviets. It is considered the last cavalry charge in military history.
Werner Seelenbinder (Germany)
Killed by beheading in Brandenburg Prison after years in concentration camps for leading resistance movements against the Nazis.
Birger Wasenius (Finland)
Killed during the Winter War early in 1940 while fighting for the Finnish army on the islands of Lake Ladoga.
Freddie Tomlins (Great Britain)
Killed as a RAF crew-member in fight against a German submarine in/over the British Channel.
Henryk Szlązak (Poland)
Killed by an artillery shell during the Warsaw Uprising.
Percival Molson (Canada)
Killed in action when hit by mortar fire while attempting to rescue a fallen friend on the outskirts of Avignon, France.
Stella Agsteribbe (Netherlands)
Killed in Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
André Corvington (Haiti)
Killed in action in World War I near Reims whilst serving as a medic in the French army.