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5/21/2007
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Interactive Site Honors Memorial Day, Gives Vets Forum

History Channel site will include videos, battle maps, information, and features about U.S. wars from the American Revolution to the current Iraq war.

The History Channel is gearing up for Memorial Day with an interactive site that will include videos, battle maps, and a forum for veterans.

The Memorial Day site, announced Friday, includes information and features from the American Revolution to the current war in Iraq, a span of time in which an estimated 1.4 million U.S. soldiers have lost their lives.

"A large part of our nation's history is tied to the battles that we have fought, and the men and women who have fought them," Libby O'Connell, chief historian for The History Channel, said in a prepared statement. "As we commemorate Memorial Day, it is important to not just celebrate a day off from work, but to remember the significance behind it."

The History Channel is doing that by presenting facts about America's war history and Memorial Day, which was originally Decoration Day, the day people would decorate the graves of Civil War soldiers. The site offers a timeline of U.S. wars, broken down by century. Each presents information summaries with dates, locations, and the number of U.S. casualties in each war (although the current Iraq war casualty totals are a year old), as well as brief explanations of how the wars ended. The mini-site also links to other History Channel information on each war.

The site is maintaining its plans to launch Band of Bloggers, with videos and blogs from soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. The company is still promoting the upcoming feature, despite recent military restrictions on video sharing. Military brass limited the restrictions to the military's own networks and aimed them at specific social networking sites, reportedly to preserve bandwidth and protect operational security.

The History Channel has said it is still working out the details for its soldiers' blogs and has declined to comment on whether military officials have approved them or what the cable television network is doing to ensure the content does not violate any military or international rules.

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