Memorial Day is a Federal holiday in the United States. It is designed to remember the brave men and women who perished while serving their country in the armed forces. The holiday originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.
Memorial Day Heroes
But what about the unsung war heroes? The animals of war include a variety dogs, horses and even pigeons. During a time of war and struggle, humans were known for calling on the support of our animal friends. Some animals that were used during times of unrest include animals that hauled soldiers such as elephants, mules, camels and horses. Pigeons carried important messages and dogs were used for tracking, protecting the troops and counted on as companions.
A notable canine hero was Sgt. Stubby. Sgt. Stubby was a dog who served for 18 months and participated in seventeen battles. “He saved his regiment from surprise attacks, found and comforted the wounded, and once caught an enemy soldier by the seat of his pants, holding him there until American soldiers found him.” (Read more here.)
These faithful members of the animal kingdom became war heroes as their efforts assisted in winning battles. In fact, during World War II, the U.S. troops utilized animals in many different ways and this is evidenced in photos that can be seen in Maryland.
Never Forgotten & Always Remembered
This Memorial Day, while you are remembering the humans who lost their lives fighting for our country, you can also show some respect for the dedicated animals who fought alongside them.
- Donating to a local animal shelter
- Sporting a Memorial Day button or tee shirt
- Hanging the American Flag in their honor