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Every year, Americans all over the world, especially those living in the United States, commemorates the Veterans Day and the Memorial Day. People visit the graves of their loved ones who are part of the celebrations. They practice an ancient custom of decorating the grave of the soldiers with flowers. On various social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, walls, pages, and comments are packed with greetings and commemoration messages to our heroes.

However, while many are celebrating and paying tribute to these unsung heroes, these two different celebrations and tributes are interchangeably understood. Some think of Memorial Day as Veterans Day and vice versa. But what exactly is the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day? Here are the specifics on the two most openly confused celebrations.

Veterans Day

Every November 11, Americans celebrates the federal holiday known as the Veterans Day. This specific day is designated as a day to honor all who have served in the military. In an article published by Military.com, Veterans Day officially started on November 11, 1918, and was called the Armistice Day. It was meant to honor the end of the First World War. The 83rd U.S. Congress, through the influence of the veterans’ service organizations, modified the Act of 1938 by omitting the term Armistice and inserting the term veterans.

On June 1, 1954, the legislation was approved and November 11 was declared as a day to honor American veterans who have served the country on all of the wars. This means all veterans who served during the wartime or saw combat. This could also be anyone who solemnly swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Those who enlisted in any branch of the United States military are also included in this commemoration day.

Memorial Day

This is celebrated every last Monday of May every year. This holiday is particularly set aside to pay tribute to the contribution of those who died while in the service of the U.S. military. The official website of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs shares how the Memorial Day came about. On May 5, 1868, three years after the Civil War ended, the head of an organization of Union veterans, which is, the Grand Army of the Republic established Decoration Day. This is designated as the time for the United States to decorate the graves of the casualties of wars with flowers.

It was Maj. Gen. John A. Logan who declared May 30 as the designated day to observe Declaration Day. It was said that the day was picked because it is during this time that flowers would be in full bloom all over the country. It was during the passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 by the U.S. Congress that it was declared as an official holiday.

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