Monday, May 28, 2007

Decoration Day

This morning, as usual, I woke up to WQXR, the New York Times affiliated radio station. The 7:30 news included an item about a group of people who set out to identify and (in some cases literally) uncover all of the burial places of Civil War veterans in Green-Wood Cemetery. They expected to find about 200 such missing graves; the actual number was close to 3,000. Having identified and located these graves, they are now replacing missing markers (see the Newsday story here) and, today, the Cemetery hosted a gathering of descendants and relatives of these veterans, many of whom who will now be able to leave flowers and other tokens of remembrance. In this connection, the WQXR announcer mentioned the original name of Memorial Day, "Decoration Day".

The Civil War was, not surprisingly, the deadliest war for Americans, with more killed than in all other wars in which this country has been involved, combined. The total number of dead was approximately 620,000.