This simple and tasteful web site from the U.S Army’s Center of Military History would make a good addition to any Memorial Day discussion about American veterans and United States involvement in all wars since the Civil War. Powerful photographs bring to mind the sacrifices the nation’s servicemen have made in the name of protecting freedom, both in the world theater and at home. A timeline dating from 1866 to the present traces the origins of Memorial Day, a holiday once known as “Decoration Day,” in honor of the tradition of decorating the graves of U.S. soldiers killed in action. The site’s timeline is filled with interesting facts. For instance, in 1866 a group of women in Columbus, Miss., who laid flowers for both Confederate and Union dead at a local cemetery were hailed in Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune for their “healing touch for a nation.” And in 1966, Congress recognized the Waterloo, N.Y., celebration on May 5 as the “first observance of Memorial Day as a national holiday to pay tribute to those who gave their lives in all our Nation’s wars.” The site also includes a transcript of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Memorial Day message and information about veterans’ organizations and memorials, including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Vietnam Memorial.

http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/faq/memday/memday.htm