Category: Veterans’ 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 Veterans Day Salute!

Thank Someone Who’s Served with a Care Package from My Hero Crate

On Veterans Day, you probably celebrate by enjoying a day off and casually thanking veterans you know for their service in whichever branch of the military they were in.

Once you live the American military life, though, you come to learn more about Veteran’s Day and appreciate it for how important it is. Here’s a quick history of the holiday, and how you can observe it.

The Date Is a Throwback to World War I

World War I ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 18, 1919. However, the fighting had already ended seven months prior with an Armistice between the Allies and Germany was called on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is known as the end of “the war to end all wars.” 

In November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. He said, “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in this country’s service with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.” The original concept was a day to observe the Armistice and celebrate with parades, public meetings, and suspension of business. 

Over the years, lawmakers passed resolutions to honor November 11, but it wasn’t until President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first Veterans Day Proclamation on October 8, 1954, that the day was officially cemented and special committees were formed and named to oversee the holiday. The very first Veterans Day was officially observed on October 25, 1971. 

How to Celebrate Veterans Day

There are some easy ways to participate in acknowledging Veterans Day. Unfortunately, some of these ideas are not necessarily appropriate in our current pandemic. You can, however, hold onto these ideas so you are prepared to observe Veterans Day in the years to come.

-Attend a Veterans Day event in your area, such as a parade or special service.

-Donate to a non-profit organization that benefits your local veterans.

-Fly an American flag correctly, following U.S. Flag Code.

-Write a letter to troops stationed overseas, or a letter thanking veterans you personally know.

-Visit a VA hospital, where you can volunteer.

-Spend time with a veteran on this day, or any day of the year.

-Send a military care package to someone currently serving, or to someone who has retired from service, to thank them for their dedication to their country.

More Ideas?

Do you have great ideas for celebrating Veterans Day? Share them with your social networks to inspire other people to acknowledge the day. Reach out to your friends on various platforms, including NextDoor, Facebook, or Instagram, to remind them of the day’s importance.

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