Memorial Day: Recalling Those Irish-Americans Who Gave Their Last Full Measure

The origins of Memorial Day, originally titled Decoration Day, has a somewhat murky origin. But what is clear is that on May 30, 1868, 5,000 gathered at Arlington National Cemetery to commemorate the 20,000 fallen warriors buried there, with the help of remarks by General and future President James Garfield, whose ancestors reputedly arrived from Ulster. It was the first commemoration of America's war dead with nationwide aspirations.

Our present-day Memorial Day rites have their genesis in America's Civil War, which ended only three years earlier, after taking the lives of more than 600,000 during its four-year span. Perhaps as many as 200,000 Irish and Irish Americans served during the conflict, with tens of thousands losing their lives.

On this poignant occasion, we'd love to learn more about your Irish or Irish-American ancestors' military experiences serving the United States during wartime, particularly if they are among the many thousands who died while serving.

RELATED RESOURCES:

Memorial Day Discussion

* Memorial Day Wall of Honor
* On Memorial Day, This Vet Asks 'What Is A Hero?'

Memorial Day History

USMemorialDay.org
History.com

Irish During America's Civil War

* A Gallant But Futile Charge -- The 69th at Bull Run
Remembering the Irish Who Fell at Fredericksburg
For Erin and America - James McKay Rorty
'Born a Soldier': Myles Walter Keogh - Part 1 of 3
Video: Myles Keogh -- Born a Soldier
Private Willie Mitchel: An Irish Confederate Boy
Video: Irish Brigade Memorial-Gettysburg Battlefield
General Phil Kearny: 'The One-Armed Devil'

Famed Irish-American Regiments

'The Fighting 69th' Part 1
Corcoran: Part 1: From Bane to Toast of the Nation

America's Medal of Honor

Irish Dominate Medal of Honor List
Lt. Michael P. Murphy, the Medal of Honor Awardee Behind 'Lone Survivor'
LCpl Patrick Gallagher, Courage Worthy of the Foremost Recognition
* World War II Ace Tom McGuire: The Iron Major
* WWII Hero Edwin O’Hara: The Honor, But Not the Medal
* 'In Harm’s Way': America’s Greatest Submarine Commander
* John Gregory Bourke: Part 1 - Warrior Anthropologist
* 'Wild Bill' Donovan -- Irish-American War Hero and CIA Founder
* Dan Daly, 'The Fightinest Marine'

Honoring Our Ancestors

A Soldier's Story: Sgt. Lawrence F. Condon

Irish-Americans in the Revolutionary War

Paddy Colvin's Unforgettable New Year
* The O’Sullivan Beare Clan: Taking the Fight to America
* John Paul Jones and His Irish Marines
* Gustavus Conyngham, USN: The “Dunkirk Pirate” from Donegal
* Irish American Signers of the Declaration of Independence 
* Hercules Mulligan: George Washington's Irish Spy
* Stephen Moylan, First President Friendly Sons of St. Patrick"
* A Monument for Haslet's Delaware Regiment
* John Barry, legendary Irish hero in the Continental Navy

Irish-Americans on the Home Front

* Alleta Sullivan: 'Champion Gold Star Mother' of WW2

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Tags: American Civil War, Military History, United States

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