Monday, May 29th. Today is Memorial Day, looked on as the start of the summer season, and a time for family gatherings and sporting events. But the true meaning of the day is underlined by the continuing sacrifices made by U.S. forces in Afghanistan and other tense areas. The first official observance of Memorial Day was on May 30 in 1868. Ordered by Gen. John Logan, flowers were placed on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. From the Revolutionary War through the first Gulf War, some 651,000 U.S. service personnel died in combat. Nearly half of all these deaths occurred in World War II — over 290,000. Across the U.S., there are a bit more than 20 million veterans of the armed forces. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at <www.census.gov>.
Origins/accessed 2/23/2016: http://www1.va.gov/opa/speceven/memday/history.asp
Casualties/accessed 2/23/2016: www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004615.html
Veterans/American Community Survey: https://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/15_5YR/S2101
Profile America is produced by the Center for New Media and Promotion of the U.S. Census Bureau. Statistics and accounts drawn from cited non-Census sources are employed for illustrative or narrative purposes, and are not attested to by the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on the Internet at http://www.census.gov (look for “Audio” in the “Library” pull-down menu).