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It's Memorial Day

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Flags have been placed at 85,000 grave sites at Los Angeles National Cemetery in Westwood in observance of Memorial Day 2008. | Photo & Caption by Jonathan Alcorn (Sundogg) via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr

It's Memorial Day. That means Federal, state, county and city offices, courts, libraries, animal shelters and banks are closed. And Metro will run on a Sunday schedule.

But the holiday is much more than a day off and a BBQ. It's a time to reflect. And the LA Times did just that. Since the war began, they have tried to write an obituary for each Californian killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. Today, they look back at the 492 who called this state home:

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Across the nation, more than 4,600 have died while in service to the country. Of the California dead, the median age was 23. Their deaths left 205 widows and three widowers, and 300 children who will grow up without their fathers, two without their mothers. Thirty-eight of the 492 were engaged. About 67% were in the Army, Army National Guard or Army Reserve; 27% in the Marine Corps or Marine Corps Reserve. The Air Force accounted for 2%, the Navy and Navy Reserve for 4%. Two percent of those killed were women.

At least 59 were immigrants. The state's two largest cities, Los Angeles and San Diego, have had the most casualties, but statistics suggest that, per capita, the sacrifice has fallen more heavily on smaller cities, suburbs and farm towns.

The high schools with the most graduates killed are in Clovis (six), Hemet (five) and Simi Valley (four).

Readers can also search a database of all the war's Californian casualties within the article.