Memorial Day: Recalling Those Who Gave Their Last Full Measure

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

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'

Korean War

The 28 Irish GIs Who Died in Korea


* Father Aloysius P. McGonigal: Battlefield Hero Without a Gun

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 Surv...
LCpl Patrick Gallagher, Courage Worthy of the Foremost Recognition

Honoring Our Ancestors

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

Irish-Americans in the Revolutionary War

Paddy Colvin's Unforgettable New Year


Anchors Away'

(Note: This list is far from comprehensive. Please add to it in the comments section below any pages that you find meritorious, whether on or elsewhere.) 

Views: 1533

Tags: America's Civil War, Holidays, Memorial Day, War

Comment by Bill Halpin on May 29, 2016 at 12:13pm

I'm involved in a project nearing completion to honor Irish Nationals who died either while serving with US Forces in Viet Nam or as a direct result of that service.  This memorial will be in Ennis, County Clare.

We're trying to determine if one Irish Viet Nam veteran, Sgt Martin M. Garvey, U.S. Army, died as a result of Viet Nam service (exposure to Agent Orange?).  Sgt Garvey was born on 5 June 1944 and died in Ireland on 26 July 2014.  Unfortunately, this is the extent of my knowledge.

Any help on this will be appreciated.

Bill Halpin

Founding Member
Comment by Nollaig 2016 on May 27, 2018 at 10:07am


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