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Memorial Day is Not Veteran’s Day, There is a Difference!

John Moore, Getty Images

In watching, listening or reading the news over this Memorial Day weekend, I would have thought it was November 11 instead of Memorial Day. Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service.

Dozens of cities claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South decorated graves before the end of the Civil War. It is not important who was the very first. Memorial Day is all about reconciliation. It is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Traditional observances of Memorial Day have diminished over the years and many Americans nowadays confuse Memorial Day with Veterans Day. On Memorial Day we honor those who died in service to their country. Veterans Day in November is to thank those who are alive and served our country. Even the media has trouble recognizing the difference.

In 2000, Congress passed the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution which asks all Americans to “observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing  (at 3 p.m. local time) from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps’ for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.”

Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day are both very special holidays, but there is a big difference.

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