Today is Memorial Day, a day dedicated to the memory of those who have died in service of our country. This holiday started as “Decoration Day”, a way to remember those who died in the civil war. Today we know it as Memorial Day, the day that officially starts summer vacation and a day for barbecuing and family gatherings. I think we often forget to remember that in reality it is a day to remember the men and women who gave their lives for this country. I will never forget that sacrifice, nor belittle it, but today I want to focus on the animals.
Animals have a long history in war. Horses have been used in warfare for over 5,000 years. Their are manuals on the art of training horses for war that date back as early 1350 BC. It was not an easy thing to do, to train a horse to go against their natural instinct to flee. They were an integral part of American History and were used as late as WWII. They have been phased out of warfare by the 21st Century, but horses are still part of today’s society, used by many police departments.
(This picture was taken in support of the calvary units in WWI. The US lost almost 3/4 of their horse population during this war.)
Horses might not be as big of a part of warfare as they used to be but they are still occasionally used as transport, and Elephants, pigeons, and rats were once used as well. And though most people know about the dogs, perhaps you don’t know that pigs, oxen, camels, dolphins, dwarf orcas, and sea lions are all in active use.
So today’s let’s remember not only the fallen humans, but the fallen animals as well. Hope everyone had a happy Memorial Day!