Memorial Day, a federal holiday in the United States, is a day to honor and remember military personnel that died serving in the armed forces. Yesterday, while in New Bern, North Carolina, I visited the National Cemetery.
From Wikipedia: “The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions celebrated on different days had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.
Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.”
Do you know the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day? I came upon a great explanation of the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day in the Washington Post written by Valerie Strauss, a reporter. She writes: “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“. I, for one, have confused these two holidays and I thank Ms. Strauss for the clarification.“Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind“. – John F. Kennedy