What is the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day?

The two holidays are closely related, but also distinct in their own ways.

What is the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day?

For many, Memorial Day is the weekend that signifies the start of summer, and Veterans Day is an extra Monday off before the holiday season gets into full swing.

But both days have a significant and distinct meaning to many veterans, members of the U.S. armed services and their families.

Here is everything you need to know about the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day:

What is Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is a federal holiday that honors those who died in U.S. military service.

When is Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is mandated by Congress to occur on the last Monday of May.

How did Memorial Day get started?

Memorial Day has its origins from the time of the Civil War, when people began laying flowers on the graves of soldiers in the spring. At the time, the day was known as Decoration Day.

Memorial Day has since become a holiday to include all those who died during U.S. military service.

How is Memorial Day celebrated?

For many across the country, Memorial Day is a time to go to the beach, pool and have a barbecue.

However, there are many ceremonies across the country to honor U.S. service members who have died. Flags are typically flown at half-staff to commemorate the holiday and you may see people wearing a red poppy flower on their chest.

The red poppy became a symbol to honor veterans who have died after World War I veteran Colonel John McCrae, a surgeon with Canada's First Brigade Artillery, wrote a poem about the red poppies that blow onto the graves of dead soldiers.

Red poppies are the official memorial flower for the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and artificial red poppies are sold around the time of Memorial Day to raise money to assist veterans.

What is Veterans Day?

Veterans Day is a federal holiday that celebrates all those who served in the U.S. military.

When is Veterans Day celebrated?

Veterans Day is still celebrated on November 11 of every year, no matter what day of the week it falls on. However, many local communities will hold their celebrations over the weekend if the holiday falls on a weekday.

How did Veterans Day get started?

Veterans Day has been celebrated since the end of World War I, which ended on Nov. 11, 1918.

Veterans Day was initially known as Armistice Day, and only celebrated those who served in what was known at the time as the Great War.

However, in 1954, Congress and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who served as a general during World War II, changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day and made the holiday a day to commemorate all veterans of the U.S. military.

How is Veterans Day celebrated?

The U.S. military has its national ceremony for Veterans Day at the memorial amphitheater near the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

The president typically attends the ceremony and participates in the laying of a presidential wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns.

Across the country, state and local governments hold their own celebrations for Veterans Day with parades and ceremonies.

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