Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

Each week Albany Herald researcher Mary Braswell looks for interesting events, places and people from the past. You can contact her at (229) 888-9371 or mary.braswell@albanyherald.com.

MEMORIAL DAY

Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, is intended to honor those who gave their lives in service of their country. The following are the words in the original order declaring a day to decorate the graves of the dead.

HEADQUARTERS GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC

General Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868

The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, "of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion." What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.

Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation's gratitude, the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.

ii. It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to lend its friendly aid in bringing to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.

iii. Department commanders will use efforts to make this order effective.

By order of

JOHN A. LOGAN,

Commander-in-Chief

N.P. CHIPMAN,

Adjutant General

Official:

WM. T. COLLINS, A.A.G.

KOREAN WAR

One war that seems to often be lost to history is the Korean War. This conflict is sometimes even called the "Forgotten War." As Memorial Day is celebrated, so should the fallen servicemen from this war be remembered. Here are some facts about the Korean War, its casualties and survivors.

* June 25, 1950: North Korea invaded South Korea with 135,000 men, initiating the Korean War. On June 27, President Harry S. Truman deployed the 7th Fleet to waters off Taiwan to prevent the spread of the conflict in Korea to other Far East waters.

* July 27, 1953: The United States, North Korea and China signed an armistice, which ended the war but failed to bring about a permanent peace. To date, the Republic of Korea (South) and Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea (North) have not signed a peace treaty.

* 6.8 million served on active-duty during the Korean War

* 1.8 million served during period of hostilities 36,940 died in theater during the war

* 4,793 died while missing in action

* 92,100 service members were wounded in theater, some several times.

* 8,176 are still listed as missing in action 7,140 were POWs of whom 4,418 returned.

* 131 Korean War participants received the Medal of Honor.

* The median age of Korean War veterans is 76.

* 18% of Korean War era veterans did not have a high school diploma.

* 46% of American casualties were sustained between July 1951 and July 1953.

* 16% of veterans serviced by veteran hospitals are Korean veterans.

* The Second Infantry Division suffered the largest number killed: 7,094

* 1.8 million Korean veterans used VA Home Loans to buy their first house.

* Nearly 79,000 Koran veterans received disabled vocational rehabilitation.

* The First Marine Division suffered the largest number wounded; 25,864.

* More than 60,000 headstones have been provided for Korean War veterans.

* Fewer than 21% of Korean veterans are associated with any reunion or military association.

The National Archives lists the following service men from Dougherty County as casualties of the Korean War:

* HENDRICKS, DARRELL T., PFC. MARINES ALBANY GEORGIA 26 MAR. 1953 KILLED IN ACTION

* DENBY, CECIL M., CPL. ARMY DOUGHERTY GEORGIA 03 JAN. 1951 KILLED IN ACTION

* FLUCKER, ARTHUR L., SGT. ARMY DOUGHERTY GEORGIA 18 SEP. 1951 KILLED IN ACTION

* FRAZIER, ROBERT, PVT. ARMY DOUGHERTY GEORGIA 07 NOV. 1952 DIED WHILE MISSING

* GILBERT, GARLAND, PVT. ARMY DOUGHERTY GEORGIA 06 SEP. 1951 KILLED IN ACTION

* MCDANIEL, WILLIAM, MAJ. ARMY DOUGHERTY GEORGIA 20 JULY 1950 KILLED IN ACTION

* ROBENSON, GEORGE J., CPL. ARMY DOUGHERTY GEORGIA 11 NOV. 1950 KILLED IN ACTION

Words of 2nd Lt. Ollie Conner, Task Force Smith, on the inability of 2.36-inch bazooka rockets to penetrate Soviet-made tank armor:

"The seat in hell closest to the fire is reserved for those who knew this but kept it quiet."