Many people confuse Veterans Day and Memorial Day. In some ways, the distinction is not that important because both days are for recognizing those who chose to join the military to protect us.
Memorial Day is rooted in Decoration Day, which began to be observed shortly after the Civil War as a day for decorating the graves of the war dead. After World War I, the day was expanded to cover all wars in which Americans died. Memorial Day was declared a national holiday in 1971.
Veterans Day is rootedin the end of the fighting in World War I. Although the treaty ending World War I was signed much later, the fighting between the Allied nations and Germany ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. Thereafter, the end of the fighting was remembered on November 11th as “Armistice Day,” primarily to honor the World War I veterans. In 1954, legislation was signed changing the name to Veteran’s Day to honor veterans of all wars. Veteran’s Day has evolved more into a day focused on recognizing the living current and former members of the military.
Thank you to all current and former Veterans (and their families!) that have chosen to put their lives on the line to serve our country and to protect our freedoms. Every day we are reminded of the tremendous cost of those freedoms.