According to Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs data, at least 1.2 million people have died fighting for America during its wars dating back 241 years. Most died in battle, while many others never landed abroad but are no less honored on this Memorial Day.
As the nation remembers those who’ve died while serving our country, the day is marked in somber ceremonies and celebrations around the U.S., offering photographers a chance to capture the quiet moments of people spending time near their loved ones.
“We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke; but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.” – James A. Garfield May 30, 1868 Arlington National Cemetery
As you look at the photos below, remember that Memorial Day is more than just a day off – it’s a day to reflect on those who made the ultimate sacrifice.