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.
Memorial Day Discussion
Memorial Day History
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
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
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