Happy Memorial Day!
Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. This holiday used to be called Decoration Day. It started after the American Civil War to remember the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to give celebration to all Americans who have died while in the military service.
Be sure to take a break from barbecuing and strutting in a bikini on a beach to take out a national moment of remembrance and to reflect on the real reasons behind the holiday and honor our fallen troops. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service.
The American Revolution
The American Revolution was a political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America. They first rejected the authority of the Parliament of Great Britain to govern them from overseas without representation, and then expelled all royal officials. By 1775 each colony had established a Provincial Congress or an equivalent governmental institution to govern itself, but still recognized the British Crown and their inclusion in the empire. The British responded by sending combat troops to re-establish royalist control.
The War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a 32-month military conflict between the United States and the British Empire and their Indian allies which resulted in no territorial change between the Empire and the US, but a resolution of many issues which remained from the American War of Independence. The United States declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions brought about by Britain’s continuing war with France, the impressment of American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy, British support of American Indian tribes against American expansion, outrage over insults to national honor after humiliations on the high seas, and possible American interest in annexing Canada.
American Indian Wars
American Indian Wars is the name used in the United States to describe a series of conflicts between American settlers or the federal government and the native peoples of North America before and after the American Revolutionary War. The wars resulted from the arrival of European colonists who continuously sought to expand their territory, pushing the indigenous populations westwards. The wars were spurred by ideologies such as Manifest Destiny, which held that the United States was destined to expand from coast to coast on the American continent, and which resulted in the policy of Indian removal, by which indigenous peoples were removed from the areas where Europeans were settling, either forcefully or by means of voluntary exchange of territory through treaties.
The Mexican-American War
The Mexican–American War, also known as the Mexican War, the U.S.–Mexican War, the Invasion of Mexico, the U.S. Intervention, or the United States War Against Mexico, was an armed conflict between the United States and Mexico from 1846 to 1848 in the wake of the 1845 U.S. annexation of Texas, which Mexico considered part of its territory despite the 1836 Texas Revolution.
The American Civil War
The American Civil War, also known as the War between the States or simply the Civil War, was a civil war fought from 1861 to 1865 between the United States (the “Union” or the “North”) and several Southern slave states that declared their secession and formed the Confederate States of America (the “Confederacy” or the “South”). The war had its origin in the issue of slavery, especially the extension of slavery into the western territories. Foreign powers did not intervene. After four years of bloody combat that left over 600,000 soldiers dead and destroyed much of the South’s infrastructure, the Confederacy collapsed, slavery was abolished, and the difficult Reconstruction process of restoring national unity and guaranteeing rights to the freed slaves began.
The Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the Cuban War of Independence. American attacks on Spain’s Pacific possessions led to involvement in the Philippine Revolution and ultimately to the Philippine–American War.
World War I
World War I (WWI) was a global war centered in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. It was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until the start of World War II in 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter. It involved all the world’s great powers, which were assembled in two opposing alliances: the Allies (based on the Triple Entente of the United Kingdom, France and Russia) and the Central Powers (originally the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy; Italy did not enter into the war, as Austria–Hungary had taken the offensive against the terms of the alliance). These alliances were both reorganized and expanded as more nations entered the war: Italy, Japan and the United States joined the Allies, and the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria the Central Powers. Ultimately, more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilized in one of the largest wars in history.
World War II
World War II (WWII), also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world’s nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, with more than 100 million people serving in military units from over 30 different countries. In a state of “total war”, the major participants placed their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities at the service of the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. Marked by mass deaths of civilians, including the Holocaust and the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare, it resulted in 50 million to over 75 million fatalities. These deaths make World War II likely the deadliest conflict in human history.
The Korean War
The Korean War was a war between the Republic of Korea (South Korea), supported by the United Nations, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), at one time supported by the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union. It was primarily the result of the political division of Korea by an agreement of the victorious Allies at the conclusion of the Pacific War at the end of World War II. The Korean Peninsula was ruled by the Empire of Japan from 1910 until the end of World War II.
The Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from November 1, 1955 to the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam and the government of South Vietnam supported by the United States and other anti-communist countries.
The Gulf War
The Gulf War code named Operation Desert Storm was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized Coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait.
Operation Iraqi Freedom
The Iraq War was an armed conflict in Iraq that consisted of two phases. The first was an invasion of Baathist Iraq starting on March 20, 2003 by an invasion force led by the United States. It was followed by a longer phase of fighting, in which an insurgency emerged to oppose coalition forces and the newly formed Iraqi government.
War in Afghanistan
Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, the United States has been engaged in a war in Afghanistan as a part of War on Terror. The transition to Operation New Dawn represents the U.S. commitment to the government and people of Iraq as a sovereign, stable country that will be an enduring strategic partner with the United States. This has been made possible by the improved capability of the ISF to take the lead in securing their country.
Operation Enduring Freedom
The operation was originally called “Operation Infinite Justice”, but as similar phrases have been used by adherents of several religions as an exclusive description of God, it is believed to have been changed to avoid offense to Muslims, who are the majority religion in Afghanistan. U.S. President George W. Bush’s remark that “this crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take a while”, which prompted widespread criticism from the Islamic world, may also have contributed to the renaming of the operation.