Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day: A National Day of Mourning

There are no words that really can express the depth of gratitude felt by those who are left behind and can enjoy the freedoms we do because an individual gave his or her life for us and yet each year we try on Memorial Day to do just that.

All over the United States there are cemeteries covered in flags and flowers in rememberence of all who have died for this country, the numbers are staggering of those who have done this for all of us.

Genealogists and family historians often record their deaths with tears in their eyes as they think of all that could have been for that individual and yet we are years away from the actual events and so it is no wonder what their immediate loved ones must have felt and gone through at that time, it is indeed a sad and solemn reference that is given to all of these brave individuals and their immediate families.

There are many online resources to help us find out more about these individuals today then there were many years ago for the survivors who may have never really known what happened to their loved one. A website has been set up totally dedicated to Memorial Day. This site explains the history behind the day along with a listing of another 16 sites also dedicated to this day. There are many other interesting and valuable links on tihis site worth reviewing.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has a veterans burial locater which can help to locate where a specific soldier is buried. The Amercan Battle Monuments Commission has a listing for WW1, WWII and the Korean War. There is a National Grave Registration Project sponsored by the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War which provides a database of all the final resting places of all Union Civil War Veterans.

Fold3 provides an alphabetical list of Revolutionary Soldiers from 1775-1783. along with many other collections and claim to be the "web's premier collection of original miliary records."

Of course has a very large collection of military records also and do need to be mentioned for making some many of the military records available online from the first entries of the WW1 draft records many years ago.

The National Archives is where one goes to attain copies of service records and many other military resources. Most states military records can be located through the USGenWeb sites. Some states also have memorial sites set up for their fallen heroes.

While I have cousins and relatives who have fought for the US, most of my ancestors fought from the Canadian borders and were Carignan Soldiers. When doing research there were many references to many being members. Their history is worth reading about, Dick Eastman wrote an excellent article on these individuals entitled Carignan Soldiers or Soldat Carignan.

There are many other memorial sites to war veterans from around the world, I especially appreciate the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site which is a massive database from many wars and provides burial locations. Not to be outdone, there are many others from other countries too. Here are a few:

Australian War Graves Photogravic Archive
Norwegian War Graves
Polish War Graves
South Africa War Graves Project
War Graves and Memorials in New Zealand

In closing all one can say is 'Thank You' and may the families of those who have given all be blessed with all they need at this time.

Comments and Suggestions are always welcomed!

Building Bridges for All Generations!

Claire (*)
Timeless Genealogies
We're Your Family is "No. 1"



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