While both holidays commemorate those who have served the country, the differences run deeper than the day of the year each holiday falls on.
Memorial Day, which occurs on the last Monday in May, is a more solemn occasion as it commemorates those who have given their lives in defense of the country and its values. The day is a time to remember, reflect and honor.
Veterans Day, which occurs on Nov. 11, is a time to honor those who have served but are still alive: this is the time to tag friends and family who have served and post about how proud you are of their service – and thank them for their duty.
Memorial Day originated out of a tradition of decorating soldiers’ graves, evolving into a national holiday shortly after the Civil War; Veteran’s Day, however, was created by a Congressional resolution in 1926 as a commemoration after World War I.
After World War II, veteran Raymond Weeks from Birmingham, Alabama, led the effort to expand the holiday to honor all living veterans. He led celebrations in his hometown until his death in 1985.