Why You Shouldn’t Confuse Memorial Day And Veterans Day

Though Memorial Day and Veterans Day are two separate holidays, both days seem vaguely synonymous and appear to celebrate the same thing: the men and women who serve in the United States military. However, in reality, Memorial Day is much older than Veterans Day and each holiday commemorates different people in the U.S. armed services.

Memorial Day stemmed from a desire to honor the dead after the Civil War. On May 5, 1868, General John Logan, commander of the Great Army of the Republic through General Order No. 11, selected May 30 as Decoration Day.

General Logan chose that date at the time to honor his fallen comrades precisely because no battles took place on that day. He made clear that the purpose of the day was to remember those who had died fighting and to decorate “the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.”

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