Thank, honor those who served in the Armed Forces on Veterans Day

Do you know the difference between Armistice Day and Decoration Day?

If it took you a minute to think about it, don’t worry. Because if you got it right, you are doing better than some who confuse the different meanings of Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

Armistice Day was the original name of Veterans Day, while Decoration Day was what we now know as Memorial Day.

We celebrate Veterans Day on the 11th day of the 11th month.

I bring up this topic because through the years I have heard erroneous things said about the two holidays, particularly confusing one with the other. There is no such thing as a happy Memorial Day — might have heard someone say. Memorial Day is a day to commemorate — to pay tribute and mourn.

In his 1954 Veterans Day Proclamation, President Dwight D. Eisenhower called for the formation of a Veterans Day National Committee to oversee national planning and coordination of the Veterans Day observance.

The Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year on Nov. 11 at Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremony is at 11 a.m. with a wreath placed at the Tomb of the Unknowns and a presentation of colors. 

Veterans Day is dedicated to honor and thank all those military personnel who are alive. We can celebrate with them and honor them for their service and sacrifice.

Memorial Day is not a day to celebrate, but to commemorate and pay tribute. It is a day in the United States for honoring and mourning the military personnel who have died in the name of the nation while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

We commemorate Memorial Day on the last Monday in May. This year, it was May 25. Elsewhere, many people visit cemeteries and memorials, including cemeteries in Brevard County. American flags and flowers are placed on the graves of veterans.

It all started when three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, Decoration Day was established as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. It later became known as Memorial Day.

So, on next Memorial Day, remember those who gave their lives in service to the nation.

On this Veterans Day, thank a veteran for his or her service to the nation.