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Memorial Day is Not Veteran’s Day

Photo By: Joe Sohm

In watching, listening or reading the news this past weekend I would have thought it was November 11th 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 Monday we were to honor those who died in service to their country and Veterans’ Day in November is to thank those who are alive and served our country. I am afraid that even our media has trouble recognizing the difference. In 2000, Congress passed the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to Taps” for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. I heard nothing on the news about this “3pm” special time. Perhaps, the media should remember this as well for next year’s news coverage. Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day are both very special holidays. But there is a difference.


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