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Difference Between Memorial Day And Veterans Day

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Many people think of Memorial Day as the the beginning of Summer (3 day weekend, no more school, barbecues, Indy 500, the list goes on and on). But what are we really remembering on Memorial Day and what’s the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day?To understand Memorial Day, all one has to do is look in the history books. The first recorded observation of Memorial Day was in 1868, and it was a time to remember all those who died during the Civil War, both Union and Confederate soldiers. Honoring the occasion included decorating the graves at Arlington National Cemetery.  After World War 1, the day was revised to remember all those who have died in all American wars. Then in 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday.

Since Arlington is quite a drive, take a few minutes to watch the ceremony surrounding the laying of the wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier.

Veterans Day differs from Memorial Day in that we celebrate and honor all members of the military, both alive and dead, and occurs in November. So this weekend, while you’re cooking in your backyard, hitting up one of the many “sales” during this tax-free weekend in Louisiana, be sure to take a moment to say thanks to those who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedoms and allow us the opportunity to continue to live in the greatest country in the world.

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