Reader’s Request #1 – Veterans Day vs. Memorial Day

So, when I started this blog, I had a few requests from friends and family to cover certain subjects.  The first such request (that I recall anyway) was to tackle the topic of Veterans Day and how it differs from Memorial Day.  Since this is, indeed, Veterans Day (no apostrophe before the s) 2016, it seemed appropriate to write this now.

The most obvious difference between the two military-themed holidays is that Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those American soldiers who lost their lives in war, while Veterans Day is for those soldiers who have served in the US Military (no death necessary).  Simple, right?  Memorial Day is for the departed, and Veterans Day is for all who’ve served.

Some additional holiday facts:

  • Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday in May.
  • Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11th.
  • Memorial Day was created shortly after the end of the Civil War, and was first called “Decoration Day”.
  • Veterans Day was originally Armistice Day, a day on which to celebrate the end of World War I–but was changed to Veterans Day after the end of the Korean War.
  • It is customary to wear a clove of poppies in observance of Memorial Day (to honor the fallen).
  • It is not customary to wear poppies on Veterans Day.
  • Columbus Day is a day commemorating an Italian explorer who got lost on his way to India and discovered a land mass that the vikings found centuries earlier (but everyone forgot existed).  It is neither Veterans Day, nor is it Memorial Day.
  • Neither of these holidays are St. Valentine’s Day.  That’s the day on which a crazed miner killed a bunch of teenagers in a tunnel.  We don’t talk about that day.  Ever.
  • Contrary to what’s mentioned in Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2, “Garbage Day” is not an actual holiday.

Happy Veterans Day to all who’ve served.