Memorial Day and Veterans Day are both patriotic holidays honouring the military, but there is a significant difference between the two aside from when they land on the calendar.
For years, and especially since the age of social media, people all over the country have either not known or confused the meaning of both Veterans Day and Memorial Day.
Both holidays are more than a hundred years old – so you might be wondering why so many people are still getting it wrong. We are here to set the record straight and make sure that our servicemembers are honoured in the way they deserve.
What is Memorial Day?
Memorial Day is the holiday set aside to pay tribute to those who died serving in the military. The website for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs recounts the start of Memorial Day this way:
“Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.”
The passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 by Congress made it an official holiday.
What is Veterans Day?
Veterans Day is federal holiday falls on November 11 and is designated as a day to honor all who have served in the military. Veterans Day began as Armistice Day to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918.
“In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress — at the urging of the veterans service organizations — amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans,” the site says. “With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.”
Here is a Video Explains The Difference Between Veterans Day And Memorial Day
How to honor Veterans Day
Veterans Day is the day to tag all your people, posting photos with your brother in uniform or the selfie with your bestie before he or she deployed. Veterans Day celebrates the living who served our country. Offer veterans a discount at your business. Call your favorite vet on the phone and thank him or her for their service. Attend a parade. Celebrate a veteran.
How to honor Memorial Day
Memorial Day is about remembering and honoring every single man and woman who has died for our freedoms — men and women who were mommies and daddies, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, patriots, incredible Americans and really, really great friends.
You do not have to wait for a national holiday to show your gratitude to Servicemembers. Any day is a good day to support Veterans either through a charity or giving a heartfelt “thank you” to those who served.
STOP SAYING “HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY”
A 2017 post from the Facebook page “Humans on the Homefront” went viral as it told the story of a woman who left the salon cringing through a half-hearted smile after the receptionist wished her a “happy Memorial Day.”
The truth was her husband had been killed serving his country when the helicopter he was on crashed, just eight months into his deployment. So, to her, there was nothing “happy” about Memorial Day. And that’s where many Americans go so wrong with this much more somber national holiday.
— Glass Doctor (@GlassDoctor7) May 24, 2019