In 2012, Memorial Day is Monday, May 28.
This post has some history on the origins of Memorial Day and, also, links appropriate for Memorial Day
Here is a brief explanation of the origins of Memorial Day—
Memorial Day originated in 1868, when Union General John A. Logan designated a day in which the graves of Civil War soldiers would be decorated. Known as Decoration Day, the holiday was changed to Memorial Day within twenty years, becoming a holiday dedicated to the memory of all war dead. It became a federal holiday in 1971, and is now observed on the last Monday in May.
Here are pictures of each of the dead along with their ages and hometowns for U.S. Soliders who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. We often talk about how much we care for these troops, yet we really have just gone on about our business as they have fought and been hurt and killed.
(This representation of a disagreement between Tecumseh and William Henry Harrison is a reminder that sometimes U.S. troops were called upon to do harm to the native population. Tecumseh died in the War of 1812.)
Here is the article that broke the story of mistreatment of veterans at Walter Reed Hospital. Another case of how the care we say we have for our veterans does not match up to the reality.
Here is Iraq Body Count. This organization counts the number of Iraqis killed in the Iraq War. All people have equal value.
( Below—A strong peace movement serves any nation well.)
Here is the activist group Peace Action. This group has been around since 1957.
War crimes take place in all wars and are committed by all sides. It is not a contradiction to acknowledge this fact and still respect the great majority who served honorably. At the same time, it is disrespectful to the concepts of democracy and human rights to ignore these facts.
I once called my father— who fought in the Korean War—from the Korean War Memorial and asked him about the historical accuracy of how the troops were sculpted. He said based on my descriptions, it was an accurate portrayal. ( Photo below of Korean War Memorial in Washington.)
I’ve been able to visit Punchbowl Cemetery in Honolulu. Many of our dead from wars in the Pacific are buried here. This is one of the most important and impressive locations you can visit in Honolulu.
Below is Arlington National Cemetery. I was fortunate to once visit Arlington on Memorial Day weekend and see the American flags at each gravestone.
Both those who fight our wars, and those who work hard to make sure that we do not need to go to war, are of essential value to our nation.