Difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day


I come from a family with a rich Military legacy. However,I always thought that Memorial Day was to honor ALL of our family who had died. I thought it was on Veterans Day that we honored and remembered all those who served in the Military, living and dead. So I did what I seemed to do now when I have a question… I went online and “Goggled” it so I could learn what the answers are. Here is what I found online to answer my question.
There is a distinct difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. This is the difference between the two days according to the VA website.
“Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle.”
While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor all those who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served, not only those who died, have sacrificed and done their duty.
To ensure the sacrifices of America’s fallen are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,”. The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada stated: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”

So, as I made the rounds through ten different cemeteries this year placing flowers on all my family members graves, I asked myself, why do we put flowers on all our family members’ graves during Memorial Day, and not just our Military family members? After all, unless our family members died in service to our country, Memorial Day is not about them. While it is always appropriate to honor our loved ones, and remember them and even visit their final resting places, this is not the point of Memorial Day.
SO, after some careful thought here is the reason why I feel that my family places flowers on ALL our family graves. We are carrying on the “Traditions of Our Fathers”. It’s not to take away from honoring our Military ancestors and the sacrifices they made in serving our country, but rather to extend our honoring to all our family members, whether they served in the military or civilian life, the family legacy we enjoy now is because of each ancestors mark in life for the time period they lived.
I say “Thank-You” to all my ancestors for allowing things to unfold the way they did in their lives that allows me to enjoy the many blessing I have in my life, and that gives me a wonderful family legacy to pass on to my children and grandchildren.
But, to stay in line with the “Traditional Meaning of Memorial Day”, I want to focus the rest of my May 2014 blogs on my Military ancestors and tell some of their stories. I hope some of the rest of you will also share some of your family Military ancestor stories too.

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Memorial Weekend 2014.

Once a Marine .... Always a Marine

Once a Marine …. Always a Marine


A Marine Paratrooper

A Marine Paratrooper


Even going on 84 years old, My Father looks handsome in his Marine Dress Uniform.

Even going on 84 years old, My Father looks handsome in his Marine Dress Uniform.

We were proud parents as we attended Donald's Boot Camp Graduation Aug 2007

We were proud parents as we attended Donald’s Boot Camp Graduation Aug 2007

While station in Japan, our son Donald received an award for when he came back to his ship    on Friday night, there was a fire on the ship, and his quick actions was able to get the fire put out quickly and prevent major damage. Yes, we are proud Navy Parents.

While station in Japan, our son Donald received an award for when he came back to his ship on Friday night, there was a fire on the ship, and his quick actions was able to get the fire put out quickly and prevent major damage. Yes, we are proud Navy Parents.

My daughter, Kristine, did not take many photo of her in her Air Force uniform, but I want to make she she know we are proud parents of her as well for the years she served Active Duty Air Force.

My daughter, Kristine, did not take many photo of her in her Air Force uniform, but I want to make sure she know we are proud parents of her as well for the years she served Active Duty Air Force.

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3 thoughts on “Difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day

    • I agree that my dad looks so handsome and proud wearing his Marine uniform even at the age of 83 going on 84. He served with great honor and still serves in his local Veterans Legion to make sure all Veterans in his local area get a proper and honorable Military funeral and help in other ways in his local area to promote American Pride and Honor.

      I happen to think my son is also handsome in his Navy Uniform,who has served honorable in the Navy coming up on seven years this June 17th. His served over in Japan and now Italy and has made me a proud Navy Mommy.

      I also think that my daughter is the most beautiful, smart, talented and honorable ladies I know who served in the Air Force, and now served our country in her civilian career, not to mention she is a great daughter, sister, mother, aunt, cousin and friend, that her family is so proud of and loves. She is not a bad long distant runner either 😉

  1. When I was young we called it Decoration Day. I recall going out to the graves of family and putting flowers on and picking up around the grave. It seemed for a while the military part of the holiday was not so front and center. I am not saying that was good or bad but the way it seemed to me at the time. Since I lived in a town that had an airbase a parade was of course part of the holiday. I like the name Memorial Day as I feel we should all pay our respects to our family who came before us. However one cannot help but be moved to see all those flags on the graves of veteran. Of course the extra pride when the flag is on the grave of one of your relatives.

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