Saturday, May 16, 2015

Armed Forces Day or Memorial Day?

Armed Forces Day or Memorial Day? It's far too easy to fail to understand the difference between the two holidays. To demonstrate my point, ask a friend or associate if they know the difference between the two.

Today is Armed Forces Day, May 16th, whilst Memorial Day is a week away, May 25th.

•  Armed Forces Day was created in August 1949, to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps,  and US Air Force Days. The single day designation also included the US Coast Guard, oldest branch of military; 1790, as a celebration of  the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense (DoD).

•  Memorial Day became a federal holiday in 1971, to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

So one holiday celebrates the armed services, whilst the other celebrates the lives lost.

Oops! Almost the third significant holiday involving our military - Veterans Day!

While Memorial Day is set aside to honor military personnel who died in the service of their country,

•  Veterans Day is set aside to thank living veterans for their service and to acknowledge that their contribution to our national security is appreciated.

This year, we celebrate Veterans Day on November 11th.

Conversation Starter

Have you noticed the almost automatic response "Thank you for your service" when interviewing  or addressing veterans? Does it seem sometimes to be so automatic as to become "shallow?"

If you are a vet, I'd be interested to know how you react when someone "thanks you for your service."

When I got out of the service, any mention of of my service was generally avoided, as it usually resulted in an argument about the politics of SEA…

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