On Monday, May 25th we will recognize Memorial Day. Since the 1970s, Memorial Day has been celebrated on the last Monday of May but the day of remembrance dates back all the way to just after the Civil War.
America’s most solemn “holiday” honors the men and women who have died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War, according to History.com, and became an official federal holiday in 1971.
Many consider Memorial Day the unofficial start of summer, complete with a three-day long weekend, barbecue, and perhaps even a beach day. But the day means so much more.
Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor those in the American armed forces who have given up their lives in service to our country. Along with them, we should also be reminded of the horrible loss their families have suffered.
While Memorial Day has long roots in America, 20 years ago Congress put into law the National Moment of Remembrance, asking all Americans to pause at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day. Flags across the country are ordered to remain at half staff from morning until noon - symbolizing the soldiers we’ve lost - then raised to full staff - representing our remembrance and appreciation of their lives. There is always a Memorial Day service held locally, but this year organizers with the North Ga. Marine Corps. Det. #1280 were forced to cancel due to social distancing restrictions. They will still have a few members go to the site and honor our fallen heros, but the public will not be able to attend. We invite people to instead pause at 3 p.m. and observe the National Moment of Remembrance.
Whether or not you personally knew someone who lost their life while serving our country, every single American should be grateful and show proper respect for those throughout our storied history who have died in conflict. They all made the ultimate sacrifice so we can enjoy our freedoms today.
For that, we at the Progress would like to express our everlasting debt to the men and women who have died, and also to their families left behind.
Here you will see just how many Americans we have lost in the different conflicts. Come Monday, remember these are more than just numbers, they are both an American soldier’s life and the lives of those they touched.
(Source: Department of Veterans Affairs)
War of 1812
(In Theater Deaths 11,550)
(In Theatre Union deaths, 224,097)
(In Theatre Confederate deaths, 59,297)
(Deaths in service. Non-Theater 2,061)
(Non-Theater Deaths 113,842)
(In Theater, 2,835; Non-Theatre 17,672)
(In Theatre: 10,786; Non-Theater: 32,000)
Desert Shield/Desert Storm
(In Theater 235; Non-Theater 1,565)
America’s Wars Total (1775-1991)
Battle Deaths 651,031
(In Theater 308,800; Non-Theater 230,254)