Americans in all 50 states and around the world — from Belgium to the Philippines — gathered Monday to honor fallen service members on Memorial Day.
Stateside, members of the Boy Scouts of America, individual citizens and others places flags in cemeteries, while family members, friends and others visited graves to pay their respects. Motorcycles rumbled into Washington, D.C., on Sunday for the annual Rolling Thunder "Ride for Freedom" parade while thousands of tourists visited memorials throughout the U.S. and cities held Memorial Day parades.
At the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Henri-Chapelle, Belgium, U.S. military members honored the 7,992 buried there. The cemetery holds the fallen American soldiers who served in two major World War II military efforts — the U.S. First Army's drive through northern France, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg in September 1944, and the Battle of the Bulge.
In the Philippines, Memorial Day was observed at the American Cemetery in Taguig, south of Manila. The World War II cemetery holds the graves of 17,201 Americans, according to abmc.gov, many of whom lost their lives during operations in New Guinea and the Philippines.
Visit the American Battle Monuments Commission website to learn more about cemeteries and memorials located across the world.
According to the 2010 report from the Congressional Research Service, 4,435 soldiers died during the American Reovlution, 2,260 during the War of 1812, 13,283 during the Mexican War, 116,516 during World War I, 405,399 during World War II, 36,574 during the Korean War, 58,220 during Vietnam and 383 during the Persian Gulf War.
A 2012 New York Times article suggests that the accepted fatality figures for the Civil War — 360,222 Union and 258,000 Confederate soldiers killed — is probably too low, and the 618,222 deaths attributed to that war should stand closer to 750,000.
According to The Washington Post's Faces of the Fallen, 6,648 U.S. service members have been killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company