Memorial Day is that one day, in three hundred and sixty- five days, we pause and honor those who died in the military service of our country.
The practice of decorating the graves of fallen soldiers originated 1868 to honor those who died in the Civil War. In 1971 Memorial Day became a national holiday. Whereas Veteran’s Day, celebrated on the 11th of November, honors all those who served or are serving in any branch of the military. Memorial Day honors veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Those who gave their life.
Their numbers are great, and we should always remember our deadliest war was the Civil War, when we fought each other, with greater causalities even than WW II.
Revolutionary War – 4,435
War of 1812 – 2,260
Indian Wars – 1,000
Mexican War – 13,283
Civil War – 498,332
Spanish American War – 2,446
WW I – 116,516
WW II – 405,399
Korean – 54,246
Vietnam – 90,220
Persian Gulf War – 1,565
Global War on Terror – 6,852
Total number of Americans killed in all U. S. wars is more than 1.1 million
Source Department of Defense and of Veterans Affairs
On May 30, 2022 many Americans will gather, fire up the grill, and have the first picnic of the summer season. Hopefully they will also recall why we have this day free from work. They will take a moment to acknowledge the sacrifice of human life that has provided and secured our freedoms. In addition to the hot dogs, burgers, and beer, perhaps take in a Memorial Day parade? Go to the cemetery and teach your kids and grandkids what those flags on graves mean.
Another beautiful way to honor our war dead occurs everywhere in the United States of America. It’s easy to participate. At 3 p.m. your local time take part in the national moment of remembrance … Taps Across America. If you play a musical instrument step outside and play taps, if you don’t play turn up your smart speaker as loud as it will go and ask it to play taps. Be still and listen. See if another within your earshot is showing their appreciation for those who gave their life to get us where we are today and to keep us a great and free democracy.