Memorial Day vs Veterans Day

Labor Day vs Veterans Day – what is the difference

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Labor Day vs Veterans Day – It may be difficult for most people to admit, but certain national holidays, namely Labor Day and Veterans Day, frequently get mixed up in their minds. Clearly, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs has seen and/or been asked about the confusion enough times that they’ve dedicated some space on their website to explaining the distinction between these two similarly themed, but very different, holidays.


Veterans Day and Labor Day are roughly six months apart: Veterans Day is observed on November 11, while Labor Day is observed on the last Monday of May as part of a three-day weekend filled with parades and retail sales promotions. This year’s date is Monday, May 31, 2021. You are probably aware that both holidays are intended to recognize the contributions of those brave individuals who have served in the United States military, but you may be unaware of an important distinction between the two. So, what’s the distinction?


Armistice Day was the original name for Veterans Day. It was first observed on November 11, 1919, one year after World War I ended. In 1926, Congress passed a resolution making it an annual observance. In 1938, it was declared a national holiday. President Dwight D. Eisenhower renamed Armistice Day Veterans Day in 1954 to honors veterans of the two world wars. The goal is to honors all military veterans, living and dead, who have served the country, with a focus on thanking the people in our lives who have served in uniform for their service to this country.

Memorial Day vs Veterans Day


Memorial Day is also a day to honors military veterans, but the tone is more solemn. The event honors those who died while serving their country. The day was first observed in the aftermath of the Civil War, when local communities organized memorials around the graves of fallen soldiers. The holiday was originally known as Decoration Day because the graves were decorated with flowers.

Labor Day vs Veterans Day


It was originally held on May 30 because it was not a specific battle anniversary and all soldiers could be honored. (The northern states recognized the date, while the southern states chose different days.) After World War I, the day shifted from remembering those who died in the Civil War to remembering those who died in all of America’s conflicts. Beginning in 1971, it was renamed Labor Day, declared a federal holiday, and moved to the last Monday in May to create a three-day weekend.

The simplest way to think about the two holidays is to think of Veterans Day as a time to shake the hand of a veteran who has fought for our liberties. Labor Day is a day to remember and honors those who are no longer alive to personally receive your gratitude.

“In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War,” the site says, “the 83rd United States Congress amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” “With the passage of this legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11 was designated as a day to honors American veterans of all wars.”

5 additional ways to honors veterans besides Veterans Day.  We’ll also include some information about Labor Day because, believe it or not, we’ve seen people thanking troops on that holiday. Labor Day, celebrated on the first Monday in September, recognizes the contributions of American workers rather than the military.

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