What Is the Difference Between Memorial Day and Veterans Day?

The federal holidays of Memorial Day and Veterans Day are both designed to celebrate members of the US military, but there are a few key differences. Memorial Day, which took shape after the Civil War, is considered a day to honor those who were killed in or as a result of participating in battle. Veterans Day, which materialized at the end of World War I, is a day to honor all service men and women, but especially those who remain with us to share their experiences.

History of Memorial Day

Memorial Day began as “Decoration Day,” a designated time to decorate the gravestones of many of the roughly 620,000 people killed in the Civil War.

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