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Memorial Day

Discussion in '2006 Archive' started by Squire Robertsson, May 29, 2006.

  1. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator

    Jul 4, 2000
    Likes Received:
    I wrote this five or so years ago for another list. But it still has some truths for my non-US readers here.
    A few Novembers ago at Remembrance/Veteran's Day, a small snit developed between myself and some of my Canadian comrades on another list. They took umbrage when I pointed out that down here 11 November is the day we honor our living veterans. Memorial Day being the day (at least in my home town) we honor our war dead and fallen comrades and recite "Flanders' Field". A remark was made about you (war loving)Yanks needing two days (for your war memorials).

    Memorial Day was started in the Spring of 1866. In researching the matter, I found memorial ceremonies and the decoration of the graves of the war dead sprang up in diverse places in both the North and the South that year. Mind you this would be just year after Appomattox Courthouse and the South’s surrender. For many years it was called Decoration Day and until 1971 celebrated on 30 May.

    Our returning 1918 veterans celebrated 11 November as a day of rejoicing that they survived the War. They came home to a nation which for 52 years had memorialized its dead every Spring. In fact, we honored our fallen in May, 1919 six months before the first anniversary of the Armistice.

    The following are some facts I gleaned from Encarta online. “The North placed roughly 2.2 million men in uniform (180,000 of them blacks), of whom 640,000 were killed, wounded in battle, or died of disease. Of the 360,000 Northern soldiers who died, two-thirds perished from illnesses such as dysentery, diarrhea, measles, malaria, and typhoid.” “Casualties in
    Confederate forces are more difficult to estimate, but they probably approached 450,000 out of approximately 750,000 to 850,000 Confederate soldiers. Of these it is estimated that more than 250,000 died. The proportion of battlefield deaths to deaths by disease was probably the same as in the Northern Armies.”

    “Total deaths thus exceeded 600,000, and the dead and wounded combined to total about 1.1 million. More Americans were killed in the Civil War than in all other American wars combined from the colonial period through the later phase of the Vietnam War (1959-1979).”

    #1 Squire Robertsson, May 29, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2006