The origin of the phrase: “All gave some, Some gave all.”

Author: Eric Sof


The widely used phrase “All gave some, Some gave all.” is mainly related to the United States military members wounded or killed in action. You will probably hear it more often around Memorial Day every year, and it’s not for Veterans Day. Many Americans get this confused, and we’ll be honest — it can be a little annoying to all of the living veterans out there.

Memorial Day is a time to remember those who gave their lives for our country, particularly in battle or from wounds they suffered in combat. Veterans Day honors all of those who have served the country in war or peace — dead or alive — although it’s primarily intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices.

But let’s go back to the phrase “All gave some, some gave all.” Do you know its origin?

All gave some; some gave all origin.

It was attributed to the Korean War veteran and purple heart recipient Howard William Osterkamp from Dent, Ohio. He served in the Army from 1951 to 1953, during which he experienced heavy combat in Korea with his unit, the C Company, 5th Regimental Combat Team. Osterkamp’s unit was stationed at Camp Breckenridge, Kentucky, and Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Korea. For his service, Howard Osterkamp was awarded a Purple Heart.

All gave some; some gave all - Arlington cemetery
All gave some Some give all. The now-famous phrase was first uttered by Howard William Osterkamp of Dent, Ohio, a Korean War veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart. (Photo: Pinterest/Washington Post)

Honor our fallen heroes

On Memorial Day, please take a moment to offer thanks to the extraordinary men and women who have fought and died to protect our nation throughout history. To brave men and women in uniform, we honor you today and every day. Home of the free because of the brave. To all who have put their lives on the line in defense of the flag, thank you.

All gave some; some gave all.

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