May 29 is Memorial Day, a national holiday for remembering America's fallen military veterans. At LiveStories, we recognize and honor the sacrifices that hundreds of thousands of American veterans have made over the nation's history, and continue to make today.
The tradition of celebrating Memorial Day began shortly after the Civil War. In 1868, a group of Union veterans decreed May 30 as "Decoration Day," a time for laying flowers on the graves of soldiers who died during the war. Many states, both in the north in the south, continued this tradition of remembrance. After more than a century, Memorial Day became an official federal holiday in 1970, during the height of the Vietnam War.
The government's Defense Casualty Analysis System compiles data on America's war dead, going all the way back to the Revolutionary War. The America Community Survey, conducted by the Census, compiles data on America's living veterans. As part of LiveStories' Five Facts series, we've created a brief overview of both sets of data.
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