What's the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day?

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beardian eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Memorial Day, which we celebrate on the last Monday of May, is a holiday where Americans celebrate those who died while serving in the military. It stems back to the Civil War, where a day was decided for decorating the graves of those who died during the War. Why May? Flowers would be more likely to be in bloom in late May.

Veteran's Day, which we celebrate on November 11, is a holiday where Americans celebrate all those who served in the military, not just those who died while serving. The reason for the date (11/11) goes back to World War I; WWI ended on November 11th and was initially known as Armistice Day.