Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day - Honoring the Fallen

Decoration Day was officially proclaimed in May of 1868 to honor the soldiers who died in the American Civil War. On the first Decoration Day 5,000 people gathered to decorate the graves of 20,000 Union and Confederate Soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Today we know Decoration Day as Memorial Day. In 1971 Memorial Day was declared a National Holiday.

“Today is the day we put aside to remember fallen heroes and to pray that no heroes will ever have to die for us again. It's a day of thanks for the valor of others, a day to remember the splendor of America and those of her children who rest in this cemetery and others. It's a day to be with the family and remember. 

I was thinking this morning that across the country children and their parents will be going to the town parade and the young ones will sit on the sidewalks and wave their flags as the band goes by. Later, maybe, they'll have a cookout or a day at the beach. And that's good, because today is a day to be with the family and to remember."

-Ronald Reagan, 1986 Memorial Day Speech at Arlington National Cemetery.

As you enjoy your time with family and friends - please take a moment to honor the members of our family who died in service to our country:

Private Andrew Haggerty, my 4h great unclewas the son of Robert Haggerty and Rebecca Easly. He was born in 1839 and served in the Civil War. He died at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863.To learn more about Andrew Haggerty view Private Andrew J. Haggerty - Civil War, Pennsylvania Infantry, 148th Regiment, Company I.

John Loll, my 4h great uncle, was born in MarcholsheimAlsaceFrance on 08 Oct 1843. He is the son of Antoine Loll and Mary Ann Jehl, my 4th great grandparents. He arrived in the United States on 07 Oct 1852 at the Port of New York when he was 9 years old with his family. At the age of 18 he would serve in the Union Army. In February of 1862 he would be wounded in battle and would die as a casualty of war on June 10, 1862 in a hospital in WashingtonD.C.

Private John McDonald, my 4th great uncle and brother of James McDonald, also served in the civil war. He enlisted as a private on February 25, 1864 at approximately age 28 with Company F, 63rd Regiment.  He was transferred to Company H, the 105th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers. He died October 16, 1864 in Beverly, New Jersey. He is buried in Beverly National Cemetery in Beverly, Burlington County, New Jersey. His grave marker references Company H, 105 PA. Inf. To view his  his grave marker visit this link. To learn more about John McDonald view The Mystery of Pvt John McDonald - Civil War Solider.

Michelle M. Murosky: The Military Collection &emdash; Honolulu, Hawaii, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Pun
Memorial Wall, Honolulu, HI

Second Lieutenant Raymond Loll, my 2nd cousin 3x removed, was born in 1922 the son of Francis G. Loll, my 2nd cousin 3x removed, and Elizabeth Hartle. On February 20, 1943, at age 21, Raymond enlisted with the Air Corps in Miami Beach, Florida. Raymond was trained as a B-29 pilot and assigned to the 43rd Bomber Squadron and the 29th Bomber Group designated 'Very Heavy'. On April 14, 1945 Raymond's plane was lost and the crew perished on a Mission to Tokyo. Raymond was recorded as Missing in Action or Buried at Sea. Raymond was 23 years old at the time of his death. He was awarded a Purple Heart and an Air Medal for his service. He is also honored in the Tablets of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. To learn more about Raymond Loll view Raymond C. Loll - B29 Bomber Pilot.

Private First Class Ambrose Aloysius McDonald, Jr., my 1st cousin 3x removed, was born 02 Oct 1919 in PittsburghAllegheny CountyPennsylvania. He was the son of Ambrose Aloysius McDonald, my 2nd great grand uncle and Gertrude Anna O'Neill, my 2nd great grand aunt. Ambrose Aloysius was also the brother of Virginia McDonald Geary and is a double cousin to me as we are related by the McDonald and O'Neill lines. Ambrose volunteered for military service and joined the Marine Corps. He was killed by enemy fire in Tarawa in November of 1943, at age 24, upon landing on the beach. He earned a Purple Heart for his service. In addition to being remembered at the Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii he also has a memorial in Arlington National Cemetery. He now has a memorial in Arlington National Cemetery,  thanks to his sister Virginia McDonald Geary. Ambrose is featured in the blog post A Letter from Tarawa.

Michelle M. Murosky: The McDonald Collection &emdash; Ambrose Aloysius McDonald Jr.
Ambrose Aloysius McDonald, Jr.

Michelle M. Murosky: The Military Collection &emdash; Ambrose Aloysius McDonald Jr.
The gravemarker for Ambrose in Arlington National Cemetery
Staff Sergeant Christopher D. O'Neill, my 1st cousin 3x removed, was born in Clarion, Clarion County, Pennsylvania in 1919. He was the son of Owen James O'Neill and Nellie Boyles. Christopher was was a member of the 579th Bomber Squadron, 392nd Bomber Group, Heavy. He served as s a Right Waist Gunner/Assistant Engineer on the B-24 aircraft. He died on November 6, 1943 in a German Hospital in Middelburg, the Netherland after suffering injuries from jumping out his aircraft the day before. He was buried in the Ardennes American War Cemetery in Belgium. He was awarded a Purple Heart and an Air Medal for his service. To view his  his grave marker visit this link.

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