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Q&A: The difference between Veterans Day, Memorial Day

Veterans Day vs. Memorial Day

What's the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day?

Today is the 90th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. Armistice Day began in 1926 to honor veterans from World War I, and was made a national holiday in 1938. Congress changed the name to Veterans Day in 1954.

Memorial Day is meant to honor members of the armed services who died serving their country. Veterans Day is intended to honor and thank living veterans who served during war or peace.

1 in 5 military deaths non-hostile

Please tell me what "non-combat-related" deaths mean and what percentage they are of total deaths in Iraq.

The Department of Defense categorizes each war casualty as hostile or non-hostile (also known as non-combat) based on the type of incident that led to the death. Non-hostile deaths result from such causes as accidents, illnesses and self-inflicted wounds; hostile deaths have such causes as enemy fire, suicide bombings and improvised explosive devices. About 19 percent of U.S. military deaths in the Iraq war have been non-combat deaths.

No models for G.I. Joe doll

Is it true that the original G.I. Joe doll was modeled after an actual World War II Medal of Honor winner?

The original G.I. Joe, who reported for duty in 1964, wasn't modeled on anyone in particular. The name came from the 1945 movie The Story of G.I. Joe. The film was a biography of real-life World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle, played by Burgess Meredith, as he followed a platoon fighting its way through Italy.

Hasbro, G.I. Joe's maker, has issued limited edition G.I. Joes that resemble actual Medal of Honor winners such as Roy P. Benavidez (near Loc Ninh, Vietnam, 1968) and Mitchell Paige (Solomon Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean, 1942).

Armed forces segregated until '48

I recently read an article about criticism of Clint Eastwood for not portraying black soldiers in his Iwo Jima films. Was the military segregated at the time?

The U.S. Marine Corps started enlisting African-Americans on June 1, 1942. They served in segregated units until 1948, when President Truman signed the bill ending segregation in the armed forces.

Almost 900 African-Americans fought in Iwo Jima, the battle depicted in Clint Eastwood's films Letters From Iwo Jima and Flags of Our Fathers. Most were assigned to service units such as depot and ammunition companies. Those units landed on the beach on Feb. 19, 1945. Within three days, all the black units were ashore, braving Japanese fire as they unloaded ammunition and supplies.

More than 19,000 African-American Marines served in the Pacific during World War II.

Q&A: The difference between Veterans Day, Memorial Day 11/11/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 11, 2008 12:26am]
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