“America Will Never Forget Their Sacrifices”

memorial-day1The following is taken from The American Patriot’s Almanac by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb

Memorial Day, the last Monday of May, is the day we honor Americans who gave their lives in military service.

This holiday was originally called Decoration Day and honored soldiers who had died during the Civil War. Immediately after the way, various towns in the North and South began to set aside days to decorate soldiers’ graves with flowers and flags. Those earliest memorial observances occurred in Waterloo, New York; Columbus, Mississippi; Richmond, Virginia; Carbondale, Illinois; Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, and several other places.

The first widespread observance of Decoration Day came on May 30, 1868, which Maj. Gen. John A. Logan proclaimed as a day to honor the dead. General James Garfield (later the twentieth U.S. president) gave a speech at Arlington National Cemetery in remembrance of doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.” Afterward, 5,000 people helped decorate the graves of more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers.

Over the years the day became an occasion to remember the dead in all American wars, and came to be known as Memorial Day.

On the Thursday before Memorial Day, in a tradition known as “Flags-in,” the soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry place small flags before more than a quarter million gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol twenty-four hours a day to make sure each flag remains standing throughout the weekend. On Memorial Day the president or vice president lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the cemetery.

According to the U.S. flag code, American flags should be flown at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day, then raised to the top of the pole. At 3:00 p.m. local time, all Americans are asked to pause for a moment of remembrance.

On May 29, 2004, America dedicated the National World War II Memorial in Washington D.C., which pays tribute to all Americans who served in history’s most terrible war. Inscribed near a wall honoring those who gave their lives in World War II is a simple statement from Harry S. Truman: “Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.”

At this time of year, when Americans kick off their summers with holiday weekend vacations and barbecues, it is good to pause and remember our countrymen who have answered the call to serve, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifices.

Conflict                                                U.S. Military Deaths

Revolutionary War (1775-1783)            25,000

War of 1812 (1812-1815)                         20,000

Mexican War (1846-1848)                      13,300

Civil War (1861-1865)

Union                                                           360,000

Confederate                                                260,000

Spanish-American War (1898)            2,500

World War I (1917-1918)                        116,500

World War II (1941-1945)                      405,400

Korean War (1964-1973)                        36,600

Vietnam War (1964-1973)                      58,200

Persian Gulf War (1990-1991)               380

Afghanistan (2001-present)                   500+

Iraq War (2003-2011)                               4,700

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About adoptingjames
My lovely wife and I are foster parents, dog owners, home owners, and Christians. I am a blogger, book editor, and author. On my blog you'll read about adoption, faith topics, inspirational thoughts, and a whole lotta Disney/Pixar lovin'! For the most exciting read ever, check out my suspense/adventure novel, The Man in the Box. You. Will. Love it.

2 Responses to “America Will Never Forget Their Sacrifices”

  1. stump3d says:

    It’s about time… I offer my prayers for the souls of the departed and the spirits of the ones they left behind. May their family and friends find strength with the fact that their loved ones may have parted with them in body, they still left of piece of them with their hearts. Smile for your loved ones Up Above are smiling down at You. Keep holding on. Love one another and nothing can go wrong.

  2. I always feel like this is a holiday that younger generations don’t give enough credit; thanks for keeping it in our minds!

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