King George V of Great Britain decorating a soldier of the AEF
I will admit to having mixed feelings about Memorial Day, despite my unqualified support for the U.S. military, due to the origin of the holiday. It began as a very partisan celebration, honoring only the U.S. war dead of the American Civil War. Southern states had to come up with their own holidays to honor the Confederate war dead. No matter which side one takes in that conflict, the Union victory spelled doom for at least one monarchy -that south of the border as the northern victory allowed the U.S. to bring its full diplomatic and military pressure to bear on France, ensuring their evacuation to Mexico and then to support the republican victory with money, men and guns. After the First World War the holiday was extended to include the AEF war dead and later it was expanded to include all the dead of all the wars fought by the United States. It became an official federal holiday in 1967. So, when prompted by Memorial Day, I try to ignore the origins of the holiday (best I can) and focus on those occasions when American forces have died in wars which saw monarchs restored to their proper thrones, and keeping in mind of course, that the military and government policy are two different things and simply salute the courage and valor of the American fighting men throughout history who have never failed in the tasks assigned them.
King George VI inspecting the crew of USS George Washington