Graves at Arlington on Memorial Day
Today, May 26th, is Memorial Day in the USA. It is a federal holiday, designated to remember the men and women who died while serving in the armed forces.
While some will celebrate with parades, fireworks, and barbeques, as the day marks the start of the summer vacation season, others will visit cemeteries and memorials, to remember those who have given their lives for their country. At national cemeteries, volunteers place American flags at every gravestone.
As genealogists, many of us will use some of the time to do our research. (Several web sites are offering free access to their military collections.) While your family members may not have given their lives while in the service, you may still know their stories. Consider submitting your World War I Story to be included in our collection. Your story need not be about the war or someone who was in the military, but it can tell the story of what your relatives did during the war.
There’s no better way to memorialize our ancestors than to tell their stories.
WW1 2nd Infantry Division Memorial, Washington DC
One hundred years ago, the second day of our conference, marks the outbreak of World War One. The anniversary of the “War to End all Wars” will be a major focus of our conference, with sessions exploring how the War impacted the lives of our ancestors.
The War didn’t just start out of nowhere. There were a lot of events that brought it about. Mental Floss has been blogging about it for over two years. Their WW1 Centennial series tells the story of how the world arrived at the Great War, beginning with a peace treaty in November 1911. Start at the beginning, The Treaty of Berlin, or visit the main page of the series to read the most recent entries or choose those that interest you.
But there is more to the war than those major events. There are stories about individuals and families, what they experienced and how they endured.
You are the keepers of your family history. Did your ancestors fight in the War? Were they living in Europe or had they immigrated to the US or elsewhere? Did they participate in the War effort or try to evade involvement? Were families separated by oceans in the process of immigrating?
This is where we are asking for your help. We want you to share your stories and photos with us, to be gathered into a larger collection that we will publish online and share at the conference. Once you’ve registered for the conference, either as an in-person attendee or for LIVE!, you will receive login information. Log in and you will see an option to upload your story along with up to three photos. (If you have more, please email us; the web site can only accept one story and three photos per person.)
We look forward to reading more about our history from you.