Memorial Day Fast Facts | Remembering Our Fallen Heroes
Memorial Day is celebrated the last Monday in May.
1. Memorial Day is the holiday set aside to pay tribute to those who died serving in the military. Not to be confused with Veterans Day. Veterans Day is the federal holiday that falls on November 11 and is designated as a day to honor all who have served in the military.
2. Several towns claim to be the originators of Memorial Day but in 1966, Congress declared Waterloo, New York, to be the birthplace of the holiday.
3. Memorial Day originally honored military personnel who died in the Civil War (1861-1865).
4. The holiday now honors those who died in any war while serving with the United States.
5. It is also called Decoration Day.
US War Casualties:
- 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.
- Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm – 383 service members died.
- Operation Iraqi Freedom – 4,421 service members died.
- Operation New Dawn – 73 service members died.
- Operation Enduring Freedom – 2,350 service members died.
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel – 22 service members have died as of April 2017.
- Operation Inherent Resolve – 39 service members have died as of April 2017.