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Fact Sheet: Memorial Day 2023

Memorial Day | Graphic by Monica Brutto | The Wright State Guardian

Memorial Day is an American holiday that honors people who died while serving in the United States armed forces. This year, Memorial Day is on Monday, May 29.


Almost 200,000 Black soldiers served in the Civil War.

The United States Army reports that 186,000 Black soldiers served in the Union army during the Civil War. Of these soldiers, 94,000 were former slaves. 38,000 Black soldiers died in the war. 

Around 85 million people died or sustained wounds in World War II.

The National World War II Memorial records 15 million battle deaths, 25 million battle wounds and 45 million civilian deaths in WWII. Most of these deaths or injuries were in China or the Soviet Union. 

Approximately 30,000 people protested the Vietnam War at the Pentagon in 1967.

The International Center on Nonviolent Conflict reports that 30,000 to 50,000 people protested the Vietnam War at the Pentagon, with over 100,000 anti-war demonstrators taking to the streets of New York City. 

Nearly 17% of living veterans of the U.S. armed forces served during a period of war.

According to the United States Census Bureau 2022 Memorial Day press release, 13.6 million of the 17.5 million living veterans served during wartime. Only 22% of male veterans and 23% of female veterans served in peacetime only. 

President Joe Biden reversed the ban on transgender military service in 2021.

United States President Joe Biden signed Executive Order 14004 in January of 2021. This order allows transgender people, if otherwise accurately qualified, to serve in the military. 

The Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is the largest and oldest military aviation museum in the world.

According to the base’s official website, the WPAFB has four hangars with 300 aircraft and other memorabilia on display. The base currently supports 47,000 aircraft operations annually. 

Wright State University Resources

WSU has a Veteran and Military Center, serving active duty, veteran, spouse and other related military personnel. For more information about the organization or eligibility, visit the center’s website.

Alexis Lewis


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