How is Memorial Day Different from Veteran’s Day?

Celebrated the last Monday in May, Memorial Day is the holiday set aside to pay tribute to 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 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.”he passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 by Congress made Memorial Day an official holiday.

Also a federal holiday, Veterans Day falls on November 11th of each year and is a time set aside 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 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 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.”

So, in short, Memorial Day honors servicemembers who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle. Deceased veterans are also remembered on Veterans Day but the day is set aside to thank and honor living veterans who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime.