Today is another human holiday known as Memorial Day. First celebrated after the American Civil War, Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for fallen soldiers. While most humans spend the day reflecting on their two-legged counterparts, there have also been active four-legged soldiers who deserve to be remembered as well.
Even though dogs have been used for military purposes for centuries, it wasn’t until after the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II that an official branch of the military was made for dog soldiers. Sometime after the attack, the American Kennel Club joined together with a volunteer group called “Dogs for Defense” to issue a request for dogs to be donated to the Army. The “K-9 Corps” was started on March 13, 1942 by the Quartermaster Corps. Since then, military dogs, most often being German Shepards, have been used in the Korean War, Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf, Bosnia and Kosovo, and are still being used today in Afghanistan, Korea, Kuwait and Iraq. A military dog’s duties can range from scouting, sentry duty, tracking, and to help detect traps, land mines, and tunnels. Service dogs are also trained to assist at border crossings and places of transportation (specifically airports).
In Hartsdale, New York there resides a pet cemetery where most military and service dogs are buried once they travel across the Rainbow Bridge. There is also a memorial, erected in 1923, to honor the memory of all fallen four-legged soldiers.
The inscription reads: “Dedicated to the memory of the war dog erected by public contribution by dog lovers. To man’s most faithful friend for the valiant services rendered in the World War. 1914-1918.” Each Memorial Day, a ceremony is held at the foot of the statue to honor all pets of service whether they be military, seeing-eye, rescue, or police.
So today, please join me and my mom in a little moment of silence for all the brave women, men and canine soldiers that have help serve our country.
Happy tail wags.