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For Memorial Day, 15 Pictures That Honor U.S. Soldiers

For Memorial Day, 15 Pictures That Honor U.S. Soldiers

Military service comes in many forms: Storming a beach in Europe, cradling a child after a hurricane, sealing seams on barrage balloons.

 
REMEMBERING THE FALLENMembers of the American Red Cross lay flowers on military graves in France for Memorial Day in 1945.

AFTER THE STORMMarine David Ketcham cradles three-year old Jarvis Williams, whose house in Florida City, Florida, was damaged by Hurricane Andrew. The photo appeared on the cover of a 1993 issue of National Geographic.

HONOR IN BATTLEAfter being shot in the hip during battle, Sergeant William Carney of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment carried this U.S. flag back to Union lines. The photo of the Civil War veteran, who received the Medal of Honor, was taken in 1863.

OLD GLORYSailors fold the U.S. flag at the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

WE CAN DO IT!Workers seal the seams of barrage balloons, which provided air protection from enemy attack. The photo appeared in a 1944 National Geographic article about women in the workforce during World War II.

WAR DECORATIONSAn American soldier shows off his World War I decorations, including a U.S. Medal of Honor and a French Croix de Guerre with palms. The photo appeared in a 1919 issue of National Geographic.

TOPPLING A RULERU.S. Marines and Iraqi civilians pull down a statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad, Iraq. This photo appeared in a 2003 issue of National Geographic.

STORMING THE BEACHMarines unload supplies after landing at Iwo Jima, Japan, during WWII. This photo appeared in a 1946 issue of National Geographic.

MIRROR IMAGEA man in uniform and a woman in civilian clothes rest at a New York City bus terminal in 1943.

HOME AGAINA soldier returns his home and family in Great Falls, Virginia after a tour of duty in 2005.

FRESH FROM THE FARMFarm women give fresh produce to traveling serviceman in North Platte, Nebraska. This photo appeared in a 1945 issue of National Geographic.

TEST FLIGHTA soldier flies a De Lackner Aerocycle in Fort Eustis, Virginia, in 1956. The Army never adopted these machines for combat because test pilots deemed them unsafe.

ON THE LOOKOUTA U.S. soldier searches for members of Al-Queda and the Taliban during Operation Valiant Guardian in Goranda, Afghanistan, in 2003.

HOMECOMING PARADEPresident Woodrow Wilson leads WWI soldiers through Washington, D.C., in a welcome home celebration in 1919.

IN THE LEADA 104-year-old WWII veteran serves as marshal of a 2012 Fourth of July Parade in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

 

After the Civil War, many Americans began to honor soldiers killed in the line of service with ceremonies in the spring, when flowers could be picked and laid on their graves. In 1868, a group of Union veterans established Decoration Day, the predecessor of Memorial Day, declared a Federal holiday by Congress in 1971.

Although Memorial Day has its roots in the Civil War, it now honors deceased veterans of all U.S. wars. This Memorial Day, we’ve compiled photos from 1863 to the present in recognition of the men and women who have served their country.

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