site image

What’s the Difference Between Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day?

Published: May 23, 2023

Veteran's Day and Memorial Day are two important holidays that honor the brave men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Both holidays are significant in their own right, but there are some key differences between them. 

While both holidays honor the sacrifices made by members of the military, perhaps the most significant difference is the focus of each holiday. Memorial Day is dedicated specifically to honoring those who have died while serving in the military, while Veteran's Day is dedicated to honoring all veterans, living and deceased. 

Another difference is the way each holiday is observed. Memorial Day is typically observed with solemn ceremonies and events that pay tribute to the fallen, while Veteran's Day is usually celebrated with more festive events that honor the living as well as the deceased. Both holidays are important and provide an opportunity for Americans to show their appreciation for the sacrifices made by members of the military. 

Let's take a closer look at Memorial Day. It is observed on the last Monday in May and is dedicated to honoring those who have died while serving in the military. Until 1971, it was known as Decoration Day, and was originally established after the Civil War as a way to honor Union soldiers who died in the conflict. Over time, the holiday expanded to include all military personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country. 

Memorial Day is typically observed with solemn ceremonies, parades, and other events that pay tribute to the fallen. Many people visit cemeteries and place flowers or flags on the graves of those who have died. In addition, the National Moment of Remembrance was established by Congress in 2000, encouraging Americans to pause at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day to observe a moment of silence in honor of the fallen. 

Veteran's Day, by comparison, is observed on November 11th and is dedicated to honoring all veterans who have served in the United States Armed Forces, living and deceased. Originally known as Armistice Day, it was established in 1919 to mark the end of World War I, which officially ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. In 1954, the holiday was renamed Veteran's Day to honor all veterans who have served in any branch of the military. 

Unlike Memorial Day, Veteran's Day is typically celebrated with parades, concerts, and other festive events that honor the living as well as the deceased. Many businesses offer special discounts and promotions for veterans and their families as a way of showing appreciation for their service. 

It is also worth noting that there are some similarities between the two holidays. Both Memorial Day and Veteran's Day are federal holidays, which means that most businesses and government offices are closed on these days. In addition, both holidays are an opportunity for Americans to reflect on the sacrifices made by members of the military and to express gratitude for their service. 

In conclusion, while both Memorial Day and Veteran's Day are important holidays that honor the brave men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces, there are some key differences between them. Memorial Day is dedicated specifically to honoring those who have died while serving in the military, while Veteran's Day is dedicated to honoring all veterans, living and deceased. Additionally, Memorial Day is typically observed with solemn ceremonies, while Veteran's Day is typically celebrated with more festive events. Regardless of these differences, both holidays provide an opportunity for Americans to express their gratitude and appreciation for the sacrifices made by members of the military. 

Thanks for reading our blog. You can reach out to us, Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory anytime at 1-309-786-5421 or find us online at wheelanpressly.com