Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day: What’s the Difference?
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: Before Veterans Day, the public lays flowers
Members of the public lay flowers to commemorate the Tomb of the Centenary of Remembrance of the Unknown Soldier.
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Memorial Day. Armistice Day. Bundeswehr Day. Not to mention those we all know (or think we know) well, like Memorial Day and Veterans Day and Independence Day.
There are so many days devoted to remembering those who served in the military and in the wars over the years. It’s hard to keep them all straight.
So we’ve done a bit of digging, and here’s a handy guide for those who want to make sure they are honoring the right people at the right time of year and not making the dreaded social media faux pas.
This federal holiday is celebrated on November 11th each year and does not contain an apostrophe.
Veterans Day dates back to 1919 when President Woodrow Wilson commemorated the first anniversary of the armistice between the Allies of World War I and Germany, which began at 11 a.m. on the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918 the US Dept. of Veterans Affairs.
The holiday, originally called Armistice Day, was recognized by the federal government in 1926 as “Day for World Peace”. In 1954, after the Korean War, the holiday became known as Veterans Day after an eight-year campaign to expand the holiday to honor all veterans, living and deceased, no matter how they died.
Discounts and freebies:
Veterans on the News:
While it is celebrated as Veterans Day in the United States, in practice it is celebrated more like our Memorial Day, when the fallen of World War I are honored with a few minutes of silence at 11 a.m.
Although not an American holiday, it is well known and often celebrated in the United States by expats from Commonwealth of Nations.
Remembrance Sunday is celebrated in the United Kingdom and Ireland, as well as some Commonwealth countries, and while the two sound similar, Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday serve different purposes.
Remembrance Sunday, which occurs on the second Sunday of November, is a time to honor British and Commonwealth military and community service members who participated in the world wars and subsequent conflicts, while Remembrance Day honors the fallen.
Originally known as Decoration Day, this holiday is used to mourn U.S. soldiers who have died performing their duties.
Decoration Day was celebrated after the Civil War until it was converted into a general memorial day in 1971, now known as Memorial Day.
This federal holiday is celebrated on the last Monday in May.
This is an unofficial holiday that is celebrated on different days around the world. In the US, it is celebrated on the third Saturday in May and falls towards the end of Armed Forces Week.
This holiday was first observed on May 20, 1950 to honor Americans currently serving in all branches of the military, according to a Ministry of Defense website dedicated to the day. It was intended to replace the separate days where each branch was honored individually, but most service members still honor their own branch as well.
This is probably the most famous of all holidays honoring American soldiers and / or wars in which the United States participated. Most people know that this federal holiday celebrates the date when the Continental Congress declared that England’s 13 American colonies no longer exist for King George III. subject and were henceforth a free nation.
What many people don’t know is that the image most commonly associated with this event – an oil painting by John Trumbull allegedly depicting the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776 – actually didn’t happen.
According to Historic New England Society, Trumbull painted 47 men, five of whom did not sign the document, and 14 who signed the statement did not appear in the painting because he did not have a picture of them.
In fact, July 4th is the date the document was sent to the printer. The date depicted in the painting is actually June 28, when a draft of the document was ready for review but the document was never signed at a ceremony. In fact, the last signatory to the document, Thomas McKean of Delaware, did not sign until 1781, four years after the first official printed copy was published.
This is a day to commemorate the American flag. It is not a public holiday, but has been celebrated annually since the Flag Resolution of 1777 when the first official US flag was elected by the Second Continental Congress on June 14th. The day is still celebrated every June 14th, despite the fact that the flag itself has been changed 26 times.