Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, has always held a special place in the hearts and minds of Americans. While the holiday has generally been overshadowed as a time for family and fun, a long weekend, and poolside relaxation, many use it is a time to remember those who have given their lives in the line of duty for their country.
On May 30, 1868 the first Memorial Day was celebrated, created after the Civil War to honor fallen comrades. New York was the first state to officially recognize the holiday in 1873, but it wouldn’t become a federal holiday until almost 100 years later, when Congress passed the National Holiday Act of 1971.
Wargaming celebrates and honors our veterans and service members by giving back as much as possible. The Arizona Shrine Room Wall at Pearl Harbor commemorates those Sailors and Marines entombed in USS Arizona. The wall was worn and stained from prolonged exposure to the elements, and Wargaming was one of the largest contributors for its replacement in 2014, donating over $38,000 to the Arizona Memorial committee. Honored as a Keeper of the Wall, Wargaming was presented with a piece of the old wall containing four engraved names: Seaman First Class Glendale Rex Young, Seaman First Class Jay Wesley Young, Watertender First Class Vivan Louis Young, and Seaman First Class John Virgel Zieler.
The plaque given to Wargaming
Seaman First Class Jay Wesley Young was born in Tropic, Utah, on October 29, 1912. While he was raised in Tropic, his family would move to Salt Lake City where he attended South Junior High School. He enlisted on October 28, 1940 and following his training, was stationed on the USS Arizona.
Seaman First Class John Virgel Zieler was from Holyoke, Colorado. Known as a great athlete, he graduated from Holyoke High School in 1940 and enlisted shortly thereafter. After his death he would be honored by his hometown’s local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #6482, named the Zeiler-Owens-Lindsay Post, in honor of the three men from the city who were lost on the USS Arizona.
Information on Seaman First Class Glendale Rex Young and Watertender 1st Class Vivan Louis Young proved harder to track down. Glendale Rex Young was from Coburg, Oregon, but little else is known. Only slightly more is known about Vivan Young, who hailed from Virginia but was born in Colby, Kansas. If you have any information about these two men please share it in the comments below.
While the country celebrates the memory of the fallen, Wargaming strives to honor them as well. We have the privilege and honor of recreating grand ships and great battles where sailors fought to the last. Remember our fallen, fight the seas, and honor their sacrifice.
Wargaming’s Chris Keeling, Senior R&D Expert, presenting the check donated for the Arizona Wall Memorial