(Trends Wide) — We are here to make sure you are not embarrassed. Inevitably, someone says something that shows confusion about the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Let us explain it to you.
Celebrated on the last Monday in May, Memorial Day is the holiday set aside to honor those who died serving in the military.
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs website recounts the start of Memorial Day this way:
“Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of a Union veterans organization, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), established Memorial Day (originally known as Decoration Day) as a time for the nation to decorate war graves with flowers. Major General John A. Logan stated that Memorial Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that this date was chosen because the flowers would be blooming across the country. “
The passage of the National Holidays Act of 1971 by Congress made it an official holiday.
This federal holiday falls on November 11 and is designated as a day to honor all who have served in the military. According to Military.com, 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 gone through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd Congress of the United States, at the behest of Veterans Service Organizations, amended the 1938 Act by crossing out the word” Armistice “and inserting the word “Veterans” the site says.
“With the passage of this legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.”
Just for good measure, we’ll also include some information on Labor Day because, believe it or not, we’ve seen people thanking the troops on that holiday. Labor Day, the first Monday in September, honors the contributions of American workers, not the military.