Difference Between Veterans Day And Memorial Day
What is the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day? These two holidays both recognize the importance of military service, and they both honor the sacrifices made by active duty, Guard, Reserve troops, and family members. But these two holidays are separate and distinct there are good reasons why both are observed each year.
How Memorial Day And Veterans Day Are Observed
- Memorial Day: Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, and volunteers often decorate the graves at national cemeteries with American flags, placing one on each grave. People may run to the store and buy Memorial Day decorations for their homes, and many towns hold annual parades, as well. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time.
- Veterans Day: Normally, towns hold parades, churches schedule special services, and families come together to thank living veterans for their service, and to remember all who have served.
Flags Fly Full Staff On Veterans Day & Half Staff On Memorial Day
Both Memorial Day and Veterans Day reflect upon the heroism of those who have served in the military. But Memorial Day remembers those who died while in military service. Both holidays may be observed with parades, ceremonies, and other celebrations. But Memorial Day is typically more somber, remembering those who have fallen and gave the ultimate sacrifice to keep us free.
Thats why we fly flags at half staff nationally from sunrise until noon on Memorial Day. On Veterans Day, by contrast, flags are to be flown at full staff. Virginia.gov noted: On Memorial Day the flag should be flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon only, then raised briskly to the top of the staff until sunset, in honor of the nations battle heroes.
Gettysburg Flag Works noted about Veterans Day: This is a day to honor our nations veterans. It is not a day of mourning, but a day of celebration and honor. Therefore, it is not a day of half-staff. Citizens are encouraged to fly POW/MIA flags and flags of the military branches on this day to show support to our Veterans.
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Another Day To Keep Members Of The Military In Mind
Another holiday honoring members of the military is Armed Forces Day, which honors those currently serving in the U.S. military. It is observed after May Day, which is May 1. Its also helpful to keep in mind these things that members of the U.S. military wish you knew, as another way to support our troops.
Memorial Day Vs Veterans Day
Aside from their different histories, origins, and intentions, the biggest difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day is who each observance is for.
- Memorial Day is, as the name implies, a time to pay respect and honor those who have died either while serving their country, as a result of military service, or after they have finished serving as a retired or separated veteran.
- Veterans Day honors those who have served in the past, present, and even pays tribute to those who will serve in the future.
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Difference Between Memorial Day And Veterans Day
Memorial Day and Veterans Day are both set aside for military members. However, they are not exactly the same. Todays article will give you information on the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Hence, to make sure you do not embarrass yourself when talking about these celebrations, stick until the very end!
What Is The Meaning Of Veterans Day History Difference From Memorial Day
Veterans Day is intended to honor all the people who served in the American armed forces, both those who are alive and those who died, although it’s largely geared toward living veterans.
Often confused with Memorial Day, the key difference between Veterans Day and the May holiday is that Memorial Day is intended to honor those who gave their lives in service of their country. Veterans Day, celebrated months later on November 11, is a day to express gratitude to America’s service members, past and present, who served in both war and peace.
Originally called Armistice Day, the holiday was initially intended to commemorate the end of World War I. The war officially ended on June 28, 1919, when the Treaty of Versailles was signed, but fighting ended months prior when the Allied forces and Germany enacted an armistice on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
Since the fighting ended on November 11, 1918, that’s when Armistice Day was largely acknowledged, with President Woodrow Wilson being the first to proclaim the holiday.
“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations,” Wilson said in 1919.
Understanding Federal Holidays In The United States
Federal holidays, or holidays officially recognized by the United States government, have special significance and protocols that are followed across the nation. There are currently eleven federal holidays in the United States, including Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Armed Forces Day, however, is not officially recognized as a federal holiday.
On federal holidays in the United States, many workers and students are excused from work and school in order to celebrate the day. As such, these days are often some of the most widely-observed holidays in the nation. All non-essential federal government offices are closed for the day and on days that are for remembrance or mourning, it is common for the government to order all flags across the country to be flown at half mast as a symbol of this mourning.
History Of Veterans Day
Although World War I formally ended with signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, it was the cessation of fighting between the Allied forces and Germany at 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918, that came to symbolize the end of the Great War.
President Woodrow Wilson subsequently proclaimed the first “Armistice Day” on November 11, 1919, an occasion to be commemorated with parades and the temporary suspension of businesses at 11 a.m. By that time, the governors of six states had already .
Congress formally recognized the annual November 11 observance in 1926, and in 1938, Armistice Day became a legal U.S. holiday, dedicated to the promise of world peace.
Toward the end of the following decade, however, public sentiment toward the celebration of peace was shifting toward a recognition of the sacrifices made by the 16-plus million Americans who had participated in World War II. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the first official “National Veterans Day” event took place in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1947.
The Uniform Holiday Bill of 1968 moved Veterans Day from November 11 to the fourth Monday in October. However, the change was met with resistance by traditionalists who considered the date to be inseparable from the rites of observance. Following congressional hearings to discuss the issue, President Gerald Ford in 1975 reinstated the holiday’s original date of November 11, effective 1978.
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There Is A Difference
The following is a guest blog post by Candy Martin, US Army Combat Veteran and Gold Star Mother. Watch Candy and three other veterans discuss their role as military mothers in VHPs Motherhood and the Military panel at:
There is a difference between Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Armed Forces Day. Accept the challenge to learn the difference and educate those who do not.
Many Americans confuse Memorial Day, which will be celebrated on May 31st this year, with Veterans Day, which occurs the 11th day of each November. It gets more confusing when we toss into the mix Armed Forces Day, which is always celebrated the third Saturday of each May. There is a difference.
The difference is subtle but simple: Memorial Day recognizes those men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice giving their lives in defense of our nation, Veterans Day recognizes the service of our men and women who have hung up the uniform and Armed Forces Day recognizes those currently serving in uniform. As a veteran, the wife of a veteran and a Gold Star Mother, the difference between these days is very personal to me, and I hope it becomes personal to all Americans.
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who died in our nations service.
Womens Army Corps photo. 1975. Candis Ruth Cain Martin Collection, Veterans History Project, AFC2001/001/113358.
Armed Forces Day
Famous Memorial Day Quotes
“We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.” James Garfield
“Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.”Harry S. Truman
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Veterans Day Vs Memorial Day: Understanding The Difference
So you may be wondering whatâs the difference between Memorial Day and Veteranâs Day. Donât worry weâre here to help you so you wonât embarrass yourself.
Most people get confused and end up saying something that shows that they do not know the difference between the two. Weâll help clear the confusion in this article.
Memorial Day: This holiday is to honor those who have served in the military and have died. This holiday tends to fall on the very last Monday of May.
There are online resources such as the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs who will explain the meaning and Memorial Day came to be.
In their words, they recall the idea of how Memorial Day first came to be. On May 5th of 1868, three long years after the Civil War, the Grand Army of Republic wanted a day to honor those who have fallen by giving flowers to them in their grave. At the time, the mayor, John A. Logan, decided to declare this special day on May 30 to commemorate military members who had fallen in battle. The reasoning behind this date is because flowers would bloom no matter what part of the country you live in.
In 1971, Congress passed the National Holiday Act, which officially declared this an American holiday.
Youâd also be surprised that people also confuse Labor Day with honoring the troops as well. Labor Day is a holiday to commemorate American workers, but it doesnât have anything to do with the military.
Support our Veterans!
Who Does Memorial Day Honor
Memorial Day is also a celebration of military veterans, but the mood is more somber. The occasion is reserved for those who died while serving their country. The day was first observed in the wake of the Civil War, where local communities organized tributes around the gravesites of fallen soldiers. The observation was originally called Decoration Day because the graves were adorned with flowers.
It was originally held on May 30 because that date wasn’t the anniversary for any battle in particular and all soldiers could be honored. After World War I, the day shifted from remembering the fallen in the Civil War to those who had perished in all of America’s conflicts. It gradually became known as Memorial Day and was declared a federal holiday and moved to the last Monday in May to organize a three-day weekend beginning in 1971.
The easiest way to think of the two holidays is to consider Veterans Day a time to shake the hand of a veteran who stood up for our freedoms. Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor those who are no longer around to receive your gratitude personally.
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A version of this story ran in 2019 it has been updated for 2021.
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Whats The Difference Between Veterans Day And Memorial Day
Members of the Old Guard place flags in front of every headstone at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Thursday, May 26, 2016. Soldiers were to place nearly a quarter of a million American flags at the cemetery as part of a Memorial Day tradition.
Veterans Day and Memorial Day are both holidays that honor the U.S. military. However, there are major differences between the two.
Veterans Day falls on Nov. 11 every year. It recognizes all veterans in the Armed Forces. Memorial Day honors the men and women who died while serving in the military. Its observed on the last Monday of May.
There Are Many Customs Regarding Memorial Day
- Since 1998
The Boys Scout and Girls Scouts set a candle at each soldiers gravesite at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. They do this on the Saturday before Memorial Day.
- Since 1950
The 3rd Infantry placed a mini American flag at each soldiers gravestone at Arlington National Cemetery. Then, they patrol for an entire day to make sure that the flags stay standing. They do this on the Thursday before Memorial Day.
- Since 2001
The National Moment of Remembrance local time has been set at 3 pm by the National Moment of Remembrance Act.
All governors are requested by the President to direct the flag to be flown at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day. This happens on all grounds, buildings, and vessels. Citizens do this at their homes.
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Memorial Day Focuses On Those Who Are No Longer With Us
Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May. So while Veterans Day may be on different days of the week , Memorial Day is always on a Monday. Thats why you might have been surprised about Veterans Day being on a Wednesday this year, if you subconsciously got it mixed up with Memorial Day.
From 1868 to 1970, Memorial Day was observed on May 30. It was first called Decoration Day, and was established after the Civil War as a day for families and loved ones to decorate troops graves and remember them. It was declared an official holiday in 1971, Military.com shared.
Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day, according to History.com. It first began 10 years after the Civil War. In 1966, the federal government officially declared Waterloo, New York as the birthplace of Memorial Day. In Waterloo, starting in 1866, Memorial Day was celebrated as a community-wide event where businesses were closed for the day and soldiers graves were decorated to remember them. It was called Decoration Day and at first it was on May 30, 1866, because no battles had their anniversary on that date. Southern states honored those lost on a separate day until after World War I, History.com shared. For a long time, Memorial Day was observed on May 30, until 1968 when Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. This was designed to allow Memorial Day to end a three-day weekend for federal employees. It was officially recognized as a federal holiday in 1971.
The Difference Between Memorial Day Independence Day And Veterans Day
Americans enjoy several holidays with their military family and friends. Hot dogs, fireworks, flags and other summertime activities. Thanks to our veterans, we are privileged to have these special days to enjoy our freedoms,
liberties and cultural values. However, many do not realize how our nationally recognized holidays were established nor understand their significance. Here is a quick tutorial on the difference between some of our most beloved ones: Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day.
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Memorial Day: Honoring Those Who Died In Military Service
Memorial Day, which is celebrated on the last Monday in May, honors service members who have died in military service to the nation. The holiday has roots dating back to the post-Civil War era, when citizens would informally place spring flower memorials on the graves of fallen soldiers.
On May 5, 1866, the town of Waterloo, New York, formalized this ritual and hosted a city-wide Decoration Day, encouraging its citizens to create memorials on soldiers graves with flags and flowers. A few years later in 1868, Gen. John A. Logan declared that the first-ever national Decoration Day should take place on May 30, as the date was a neutral day for both sides of the Civil War to honor their fallen soldiers.
On May 20, 1868, over 5,000 first-ever National Decoration Day participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery. , cities and communities across the United States began to observe the day and several states declared it a legal holiday.
Over the next few decades, the day transitioned from being called Decoration Day to its current name of Memorial Day.
In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May instead of a set calendar day. By 1971, the three-day weekend for federal employees went into full effect.