Skip Header

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance and Supplemental Poverty Measure Released. Learn More.

Release Number CB21-SFS-071

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who died in service to their country. The holiday was officially proclaimed in 1868 to honor Union and Confederate soldiers and was expanded after World War I to honor those who died in all wars. It became an official federal holiday in 1971, known as Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day. Today, Memorial Day honors over 1 million men and women who have died in military service since the Civil War began in 1861.


From The American Presidency Project, Proclamation 4056—Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1971: “It is a simple matter to make war, and a difficult matter to make a peace. The history of man confirms this, for it records few periods when men have not somewhere in the world waged war on their fellow men. Confirmed in this truth, we know that our concern in America must be to move hand in hand with men of all nations to make the world safe for humanity. In this manner we can insure that those who died for us did not die in vain, that out of war has come redemption, and out of the search for redemption has come a true and just and lasting peace.”

Key Stats

This timeless infographic (created in 2013) compiles statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Defense to honor our men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces. The Department of Defense, Defense Manpower Data Center provides statistics on the number of people who served and died in each of our nation’s wars.

Note: The infographic above is cropped at the bottom. Click on the image to see the full page.

More Stats

From > Topics > Population > Veterans

From the Newsroom: 

You May Be Interested In

Back to Header