Red white and blue! Picnics! Parades! Soldiers! America! Why do we celebrate Veterans Day and Memorial Day? And what’s the difference between the two holidays? I’ll admit, I had to do some research to figure it out, but it is good to know the true purpose of these holidays and why they were created in the first place.
Veterans Day is observed every year on November 11th. It is a federal holiday, so most United States federal employees have the day off. World War I ended on November 11th, 1918, which is the significance of the date. It used to be known as “Armistice Day” because of the agreement to end WWI on that day, and it honored all our soldiers who fought in the war. After World War II, however, the name was changed to “Veterans Day,” for honoring all the American veterans who have served in any of the branches of the U.S. military. It’s a great opportunity to show our appreciation of the bravery exhibited and sacrifices soldiers have made in service of our country.
Memorial Day is another federal holiday and it is always the last Monday of May. This also had a different name when it started after the Civil War. They called it “Decoration Day,” because people decorated gravesites with flowers and remembered the loved ones that they lost. Today, Memorial Day honors all the people from the United States military who have died while serving our country. Many people visit cemeteries or war memorials and decorate with flowers or American flags. It also gives Americans a chance to have get-togethers with their families as the beginning of the summer season arrives. This holiday gives people the perfect opportunity to remember family members and friends who have sacrificed their lives for our country, and taking a day out of our busy schedules to realize what is really important in life.
Veterans Day and Memorial Day were both created to honor U.S. military men and women. The biggest difference is that Veterans Day honors all U.S. veterans, while Memorial Day honors those who died serving. Every day I take our freedom for granted, but it is thanks to these brave people that we can live in such a great, safe country. No matter what day of the year it is, you can always show your respect or gratitude to those who served.