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The Important Difference Between Veterans Day & Memorial Day

Feb 15th 2021

The Important Difference Between Veterans Day & Memorial Day

Each year Americans take time to remember and honor those who have served in the United States Armed Services. The two holidays most commonly celebrated are Memorial Day and Veterans Day, and while each holiday is officially recognized, and while at first glance they both seem to share a common purpose, they are not without their dissimilarities. Let's take a deeper look!

Memorial Day

The initial intent behind Memorial Day was to set aside time to honor those who had died in the Civil War. Originally named Decoration Day, this particular holiday was celebrated on May 30th for over 100 years, and was first observed in 1868. But in the wake of World War I, with so many lost, its purpose shifted for the American people. Instead of being a day dedicated to the remembrance of those who who had died in a specific war, it became the de facto day set aside to remember all those sacrificed in all wars. In 1971 this honor was itself memorialized, with the name "Decoration Day" being replaced by something more suitable. And so, Memorial Day was born. It has since been observed on the last Monday in May.

Veterans Day

On the other hand, Veterans Day was first recognized after WWI. President Woodrow Wilson proposed in 1919 that Veterans Day be marked as a day to remember the armistice between Americans and Germans. It was also intended to celebrate the heroic deeds undertaken by those who died for their country at war. What was then known as Armistice Day was implemented in 1938 and was primarily focused on veterans of the first world war. However, after WWII, the name was changed to Veterans Day. This holiday takes place on November 11 each year and now honors veterans of every war.

Armed Forces Day

Here we have the third and final member of the service-celebratory trio. Known as Armed Forces Day, this holiday puts the emphasis on celebrating the brave men and women currently serving in the United States military. Though not an official bank holiday, Armed Forces Day is observed in May of each year.

The Importance of Honor

Though Veterans Day and Memorial Day are more commonly known to Americans, that doesn't make Armed Forces Day any less significant. Each holiday plays an essential role in our remembrance of the lives lived, loved, and lost by those who've served us, both past and present, and at home and abroad.

On these days it is important we honor these sacrifices made, as well as recognize all that we have as a result. Wth this gratitude in their hearts, Americans all across the country take to their yards, ready to celebrate with food, friends, fun, and family.

Independence Bunting offers patriotic decorations to adorn your home with this Memorial Day. This is an excellent option if you are having a cookout or party with family and friends. Let everyone know you respect and support our military by decorating your home and yard on these important American holidays.