Memorial Day, originally titled Decoration Day, has a somewhat murky origin. But what is clear is that on May 30, 1868, 146 years ago today, 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
* Remembering the Irish Who Fell at Fredericksburg
* The Irish in the American Civil War Monument
* 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
Honoring Our Ancestors
Irish-Americans in the Revolutionary War
(Note: This list is far from comprehensive. Please add to it in the comments section below any pages that you find meritorious, whether on TheWildGeese.com or elsewhere.)