Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who died in service to their country. The holiday was officially proclaimed in 1868 to honor Union and Confederate soldiers and was expanded after World War I to honor those who died in all wars. Today, Memorial Day honors over one million men and women who have died in military service since the Civil War. This infographic compiles statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Defense to honor our men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
And some historic quotes inspired by the supreme patriotic sacrifice made by so many:
Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong.
- James Bryce
Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.
- George Washington
I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.
- James A. Baldwin
My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.
- John F. Kennedy
Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.
- Mark Twain
A man's country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle and patriotism is loyalty to that principle.
- George William Curtis
Memorial Day this year is especially important as we are reminded almost daily of the great sacrifices that the men and women of the Armed Services make to defend our way of life.
- Robin Hayes