May 25th, 2015

On Memorial Day, Remember the Fallen…

Arlington Cemetery Old Guard Flags Graves
Flags placed in Arlington National Cemetery by members of the 3rd Infantry Regiment, the “Old Guard”.

Memorial Day 2010

Today, Memorial Day, Americans will honor the sacrifices of military men and women who paid the ultimate price in their service to our nation. More than one million American men and women have died in military service during wartime, including more than 664,000 battle deaths.

“The fallen warriors we honor on Memorial Day cherished liberty and freedom enough to lay down their lives to preserve our way of life,” said past Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “We owe them eternal gratitude and we must pass those sentiments on to future generations.”

The History of Memorial Day
Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day when the tradition of decorating Civil War graves began in 1866. This day of remembrance still brings loved ones to the graves of the deceased, often with flowers as grave decorations. To honor veterans buried in national cemeteries, Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) staff and volunteers typically place small individual American flags on each grave. Alternatively, “avenues of flags”, flanking both sides of the cemetery entrance, are displayed. (These may include burial flags awarded to the survivors of veterans interned in the cemetery). The VA maintains more than three million gravesites at its 131 national cemeteries. In 2010, more than 111,800 burials took place in national cemeteries.

Memorial Day 2010

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