Memorial Day which has been celebrated for centuries is a day that we set aside to honor those who gave their lives for our country. This tradition started to remember those who fell in battle in the Civil War. I have a loved one to remember as my great uncle Walter Pierson who enlisted in the Marines on April 10th, 1917 and served in the 74th Co, 6th Regiment, was killed in France on July 19th 1918. He was buried in Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial which is a World War I cemetery in Belleau, Northern France.
After the war some of the mothers were taken to France to visit the grave sites of their loved ones. They were told to go stand behind any cross. My Great Grandmother heard my Great Uncle call to her “here I am mom” so she went and stood behind that cross and had her picture taken. When you look at the picture you can see the pain that is on her face.Both my dad and uncle served in WWII. My dad was in the Navy and my uncle was in the Army. They both came back alive, although my uncle suffered hearing loss due to being in the artillery. My younger uncle Ted served in Korea and made it home alive.
These are some statics I found about the death toll of all of the wars that our country has been involved in:
Civil War: Approximately 620,000 Americans died. The Union lost almost 365,000 troops and the Confederacy about 260,000. More than half of these deaths were caused by disease.
World War I: 116,516 Americans died, more than half from disease.
World War II: 405,399 Americans died.
Korean War: 36,574 Americans died.
Vietnam Conflict: 58,220 Americans died. More than 47,000 Americans were killed in action and nearly 11,000 died of other causes.
Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm: 148 U.S. battle deaths and 145 non-battle deaths.
Operation Iraqi Freedom: 4,422 U.S. service members died.
Operation New Dawn: 66 U.S. service members died.
Operation Enduring Freedom: 2,318 U.S. service members have died as of May 12, 2014.
I got these facts from the article by (A. Sylte, KSDK-TV, St. Louis, MO )10 historical facts about Memorial Day Follow the link below to view the article
I now have one Nephew in the Navy to honor his father and grandfather and one in the Army. I feel that it is very important for all of us to make sure that we show our approbation to those who came back to friends and family alive. I love this video by Gene Simmons.