Many people in the U.S. celebrate Memorial Day with parades, picnics, and cookouts. While many people think of Memorial Day as a day of celebration and recreation, the day is truly one of remembrance for fallen service members.
The history of Memorial Day is more complicated than many people realize. Many today associate Memorial Day with a remembrance of World War II. This may be because the holiday wasn’t well known by the name “Memorial Day” until sometime after World War II, not being officially recognized by the name "Memorial Day" until 1967. The holiday’s true roots go all the way back to the Civil War, beginning as Decoration Day, when people would decorate the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers.
In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act combining several different memorial observances held in different parts of the country into a single federal holiday to be held on the last Monday of May. The law went into effect in 1971.
The Spinning Jenny would like to pay tribute to those U.S. service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation and its citizens.
As a remembrance of how great their sacrifice for this country is, here is a record of combat deaths from just some of the battles the United States has fought. (Source: Wikipedia)
American Revolutionary War (1775-1783) Combat Deaths: 8,000
War of 1812 (1812-1815) Combat Deaths: 2,260
Mexican-American War (1846-1848) Combat Deaths: 1,733
American Civil War (1861-1865) Combat Deaths: 214, 938
World War I (U.S. involvement 1917-1918) Combat Deaths: 116,708
World War II (1941-1945) Combat Deaths: 291,557
Korean War (1950-1953) Combat Deaths: 33,686
Vietnam War (1955-1975) Combat Deaths: 47,424
Gulf War (1990-1991) Combat Deaths: 149
War in Afganistan (2001-present) Combat Deaths: 1,833
Iraq War (2003-2011) Combat Deaths: 3,836
Our service members have fought and given their lives in countless other operations and conflicts. They all deserved to be remembered today. Words cannot express the debt of gratitude owed to all of those brave men and women who have fought and died. We honor you.