Memorial Day: Remembering Those Who Gave the Ultimate Sacrifice

May 27, 2019

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. 





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The Spinning Jenny

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