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Memorial Day 2015

Military History

Memorial Day 2015

Today, we look back on the men and women throughout our history who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.

Today, we look back on the men and women throughout our history who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.

by James Hart

Since its first inception as “Decoration Day” in 1868, Memorial Day has served as an important reminder regarding those who died in service to their country. Some will observe the holiday by visiting our nation’s memorials and national cemeteries. Others will head into town for a parade, or visit the gave stones of their ancestors.

Here at Warfare History Network, we’ve compiled a list of stories that we hope will call to mind not just the well-known sacrifices of our past, but all men and women who have put their life on the line in service to their nation.

The Battle of Waterloo

Gain new insight into the battle that brought the end of Napoleon’s rule in France.
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The Battle of Waterloo


An American at the Somme: Henry Augustus “Harry” Butters, Jr., was born in San Francisco, California, on April 28, 1892. He was educated both in his native country and in Great Britain. When World War I broke out, his heart was with the British, and he enlisted in the army. Unfortunately, he was killed in action at the Battle of the Somme, was the first American citizen to die during World War I.

Remembering Khe Sanh: For both the Marine defenders and their North Vietnamese adversaries, the military base at Khe Sanh was the center of a deadly serious chess match between two determined commanders. After the 12 days of fighting in early May, the Marines gained the last of their three hills, but 160 Marines died and another 700 were wounded.

The Deadly Fighting at Antietam: The Battle of Antietam, fought September 17, 1862, was the culmination of the first invasion of the North during the American Civil War by General Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. The bloodiest single day in the history of the United States and the bloodiest day’s fighting ever in the Western Hemisphere, the Antietam death toll has always been hard to accurately determine. So many soldiers of both sides died that some were buried hastily in shallow graves and never moved to formal cemeteries.

Howard W. Gilmore and the USS Growler: Making the Ultimate Sacrifice: The U.S. Navy called the incident involving Howard W. Gilmore and the USS Growler ‘the most famous act of self-sacrifice known to the U.S. submarine service.’ And for good reason; what happened that February in 1943 made submarine and military history.

Protecting & Repatriating American Remains at the Battle of Saipan: A Russian real estate developer plans to construct a condominium development in close proximity to the Battle of Saipan in 1944. So a race against time is underway. Members of Kuentai-USA, a nonprofit organization that searches Pacific islands for the remains of Japanese war dead, has been consulting archives in the United States recently. The Japanese are looking for clues, information, evidence, anything that might point them toward the graves of American soldiers who died on Saipan during the war, were buried there, and then through the confusion and shuffle that followed the fighting were forgotten. These are a handful of the thousands of U.S. soldiers, sailors, and Marines listed as missing in action.

U.S. Soldiers Missing In Action: Then and Now: For even so far back as the Iliad, soldiers have felt honor-bound not to abandon comrades either missing in action or captured. To its credit, the United States has at times gone to extraordinary lengths to reclaim its soldiers missing in action or killed. Of course, the largest numbers come from World War II.

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