Category: Memorial Day

What is the Difference Between Memorial Day and Veterans Day?

They Both Honor Military Members, But for Different Reasons

There are so many American holidays centered around patriotism and ways to thank military members for their service. Two of these days, Memorial Day and Veterans Day, are often easily confused or misunderstood altogether.

Both are Federal holidays. Both honor the military. But they’re actually quite different. You’ll want to understand the nuances of both before wishing your military hero a “Happy Memorial Day” or “Happy Veterans Day,” interchangeably. 

Memorial Day - the Last Monday in May - Honors Those Who Died During Their Military Service

Memorial Day got its start just after the Civil War, when people would leave floral arrangements on the graves of fallen soldiers. In 1866, Waterloo, New York, made this a formal ritual called “Decoration Day,”  because of its focus on decorating graves of soldiers.

In 1868, the first ever National Decoration Day took place at Arlington National Cemetery. By the late 1800s, people across the country were acknowledging the day. The holiday was renamed Memorial Day, because it is a day in memory of fallen military service members.

You can, of course, celebrate Memorial Day any way that you’d like, but it’s best to use the day to pay respects to our country’s heroes who lost their lives during their service. It may not be the best idea to give gifts for veterans or living military members on this day, however, as it is meant to honor past heroes.

Veterans Day - on November 11 - Honors All Military Members

Veterans Day is another Federal holiday focused on military members. Unlike Memorial Day, though, Veterans Day is a day to celebrate and be thankful for anyone who has served in the U.S. military. 

First observed in 1919 as Armistice Day – the first anniversary of the end of World War I – Congress made it a Federal holiday in 1938. President Eisenhower changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day in 1954.

Veterans Day is the best holiday to send a gift for military members and veterans to thank them for their service. 

Gifts for Veterans and Military Members

To help your loved one celebrate Veterans Day, send them a military care package from My Hero Crate! Our one-time snack boxes or monthly subscription boxes are ideal gifts to bring good cheer and motivation to your loved one serving away from home. 

They’re also great gifts for veterans, who will remember the happiness and contentment they felt when they received care packages from home while they were deployed.

Order your military member gifts from My Hero Crate, and get free shipping anywhere in the U.S., and to any APO, FPO, or DPO mail box in the world. Best of all, we’ll make a donation to a non-profit, veteran-backed organization for each care package purchased!

Shop today to find the perfect military gift box for your hero, or sign them up for a monthly subscription box for armed forces members. 

A Brief History of Memorial Day

Thank Our Military for Your Continuing Freedom


In 2020, Memorial Day is Monday, May 25. Although the national holiday may be a little different this year because of social distancing practices, the day will still carry the same heavy meaning as it has every year since it was established. 

At My Hero Crate, we celebrate the soldiers deployed, living on military bases, and everywhere else, working diligently to protect our country. But we would be mistaken to not acknowledge those who gave their lives for us. Memorial Day is the one day set aside every year to do that — but we’re truly thankful every day.



The Meaning of Memorial Day

Memorial Day, sometimes called Decoration Day, is observed in honor of the men and women who died while serving in the armed forces of the United States of America. We are literally memorializing the military members who made the ultimate sacrifice, no matter what branch they were in: Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, or National Guard. It’s a day to reflect on and remember why we are free to live as we do in this country.

Memorial Day is different from Veterans Day, celebrated on November 11 every year. Veterans Day is a time to thank and honor all military members who served, including those who came home alive. Veterans Day also acknowledges those soldiers who served during peacetime and did not see combat during their tenure. 



The First Memorial Day

It seems there is no official documentation of the first Memorial Day, but the custom of honoring fallen heroes is a worldwide tradition extending through history. Some say the day was first officially acknowledged in America after the Civil War, but there are records that show regions and countries honoring their service members prior to that. 


Regardless, Memorial Day became a national holiday in the United States in 1971, by an act of Congress. Americans celebrate it every year on the final Monday of May.



Memorial Day Activities


Traditionally, on Memorial Day in the United States, people visit cemeteries and memorials to place flowers and other mementos on the graves of their ancestors, particularly those who served in the military. At national cemeteries, like Arlington, volunteers place American flags on each grave.

Some families use Memorial Day as a time to get together with their loved ones, to barbecue, and relax. The day is often thought of as the unofficial start to the summer season, although the first day of summer isn’t until June.



Memorial Day Symbolism

You might remember seeing poppy flowers worn on lapels on Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day. There are historical and literary reasons for this. 


When the European ground was disturbed on the battlefields during World War I, poppy flowers began growing and blooming. The iconic red poppy was described in the poem “In Flanders Fields,” written by a Canadian soldier, John McCrae, in 1915. 


The flower came up in another poem, this one written by Moina Michael in 1918, called “We Shall Keep the Faith.” Americans drew inspiration from these references and began to wear a red poppy in remembrance of those killed in World War I. 


Since then, the poppy has become a symbol to memorialize all veterans of any war, and quickly spread to Canada, Australia, and Great Britain, among other allies.


What You Can Do on Memorial Day

If you want to properly thank America’s fallen soldiers for their service, you can:


  • Participate in the national moment of silence at 3 p.m., whatever your time zone may be.

  • Volunteer to decorate the graves of soldiers at your local military cemetery or a national cemetery, if you live close-by.

  • Lay flowers on the graves of your veteran family members.

  • Donate to organizations that help injured service members or families of soldiers who lost their lives in battle.



How My Hero Crate Honors Veterans

My Hero Crate curates snack gift baskets designed for families to send to their loved ones in the military. Each care package is full of treats both made in America and distributed by American companies. For every purchase made, we donated to a non-profit veteran-backed organization. Visit our website to see the organization we’ve selected this month, and to shop our care packages.


Enter To Win 1 of 5 Military Snack Care Packages!

Enter to Win a Military Snack Care Package!

This contest is over. We gave away five Military Snack Care Packages to wonderful winners on Facebook and Instagram. Thank you so much to everyone who entered!
Contest details:

To celebrate our website launch we are GIVING AWAY FIVE Military Snack Care Packages! Share it with someone you care about! We will announce the winners on Memorial Day.



•Follow @myhercrate on Instagram or Facebook

•Tag three friends on a contest post

•Like our page

•Sign Up For our newsletter below

No Purchase Necessary. Must be 18 Years or Older to Enter. Must Live in the United States. Shipping address must be in the United States, US military bases only (dpo/fpo/apo). This contest is not affiliated in any way by Instagram or Facebook. Contest begins 5/18/2020 12A EST and Ends 5/25/2020 12P EST. Winners will be drawn Monday, 5/25/2020 12P EST and announced on both Instagram and Facebook.

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