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Understanding Our National Military Holidays

Education & Training with Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals.

"Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies from the breath of each soldier who died protecting it."  -Unknown

The Significance of Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Armed Forces Day

Many Americans consider Memorial Day weekend the unofficial start of summer, celebrated by having barbecues, attending parades, and enjoying a long weekend of fun.

However, I am often discouraged by the lack of understanding and reference for the various military holidays throughout the year.

Memorial Day, observed on the last Monday of May, is solely for the purpose of honoring the men and women of the United States Armed Forces who have died in military service. The origins of Memorial Day go back to the aftermath of the Civil War. 3 years after the end of the Civil War, Decoration Day was established as a day for decorating the graves of soldiers killed during the war. The name was later changed to Memorial Day.

In contrast to Memorial Day, Veterans Day, observed annually on November 11, is a day dedicated to honoring all military veterans, both living and deceased, who have served in the United States Armed Forces. The date marks the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I in 1918. It was originally known as Armistice Day. In 1954, following the conclusion of World War II and the Korean War, the holiday was renamed Veterans Day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Armed Forces Day
, observed on the third Saturday in May, is a holiday dedicated to honoring the men and women currently serving in the United States military. Established in 1949, Armed Forces Day replaced separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force Days, combining the individual celebrations of all branches of the military under a single day.

Unlike Memorial Day and Veterans Day, which focus on honoring past service, Armed Forces Day celebrates the present. It is a day for Americans to demonstrate their support and appreciation for active-duty military members.

While each of these holidays serves a distinct purpose, they all share the common purpose of honoring the men and women who have committed themselves to the defense of the United States.

Memorial Day reminds us of the ultimate sacrifice made by those who gave their lives in service. Veterans Day provides an opportunity to express our gratitude to all who have served. Armed Forces Day celebrates the ongoing efforts of those currently wearing the uniform.

As we get together with family and friends this Memorial Day, please don't forget to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday. Beyond the barbecues and festivities, it is a solemn occasion to honor the fallen, to remember their sacrifices, and to reaffirm our commitment to the values and freedoms for which they gave their lives.

By understanding and appreciating the differences between Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Armed Forces Day, we can more fully honor the service and sacrifice of all members of the military community.

Posted by

Carol Williams

"Information is FREE.
Knowledge, Experience & Integrity Are Priceless."

- Carol Williams

Retired: Real Estate Broker/Owner, Property Manager 
Coaching, goal setting, and marketing consultant

Active: Golf & Travel Blogger
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Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em: golfArizona@cox.net

Thanks for sharing and enjoy your Memorial Day and remember those we lost in battle. Bill

Bill Salvatore, Realtor- Arizona Elite Properties

May 27, 2024 04:48 AM
Carol Williams

You're welcome, Bill Salvatore - East Valley 
Thanks for stopping by to read my post today.

May 27, 2024 07:52 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

You are absolutely right - so many do not understand the differences and unfortunately, I think many are not interested enough to understand. Thank you for laying it out, though. Hopefully someone will say, Oh! I had no idea! And act accordingly.

May 27, 2024 04:56 AM
Carol Williams

I believe you're right, Kat Palmiotti.

May 27, 2024 07:53 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Oswego, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Carol. Having lost a high school friend in the Viet Nam conflict, everyday is a Remembrance Day. And, more than three times a year I honor those who served and did not return as well as those who served and are still serving. Enjoy your day.

May 27, 2024 05:10 AM
Carol Williams

You are right, of course, Wayne Martin. Every day is a Remembrance Day.

May 27, 2024 07:54 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

There are a lot of holidays for the veterans and military, they deserve so much more than the government provides them for their service.

May 27, 2024 05:53 AM
Carol Williams

They certainly do, Brian England 
I think the government has policies to provide more than most of them get. They need an advocate who knows how to cut through the red tape pushing for their earned benefits.

May 27, 2024 07:55 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Carol... too many Americans don't understand what our military holidays are all about, which is a shame. We can never take for granted the sacrifices of our military... dead and living... or our freedom which they protect(ed)).

May 27, 2024 05:59 AM
Carol Williams

Absolutely, Nina Hollander, Broker 
I fear the younger generations aren't being adequately educated in the history of this country (and the world). They have no clue why we actually enjoy the freedoms we have and how close to losing them we are.

May 27, 2024 07:56 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services


Hello Carol Williams for most, it is just a paid holiday.  For some, it is time and a half or double time pay if they are working. 

I love the unknown quote. 


May 27, 2024 07:35 AM
Carol Williams

You're exactly right, Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist 

May 27, 2024 07:57 AM
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

The quote you added Carol has so much meaning to it. We give our deepest appreciation to all who bravely served our Country!

May 27, 2024 08:30 AM
Carol Williams

Thank you, Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400 
We can't even begin to adequately thank those who died for our freedoms and the loss for their families.

May 31, 2024 10:14 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Carol, for this timely post.

Have a very sprecial Memorial Day.

May 27, 2024 08:46 AM
Carol Williams

You're welcome, Roy Kelley 

May 31, 2024 10:14 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

My thanks as well for sharing and educating.  I wish more younger people would understand the importance of this day and stop taking their liberty and freedom for granted.

May 27, 2024 09:04 AM
Carol Williams

I can't believe how many people don't "get" the difference. I saw a blog on AR on Memorial Day that said "Thanks Veterans".

May 31, 2024 10:15 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Carol thank you for the background information on Memorial Day.  This is a special day for many reasons.

May 27, 2024 03:31 PM
Carol Williams

Hi George Souto 
It is special and the greatest thanks we can give those who died in service is to protect the freedoms they died for.

May 31, 2024 10:16 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

 There are several days to honor service people and their intent should be recognized.

May 27, 2024 03:50 PM
Carol Williams

Yes, Ed Silva, 203-206-0754 
I wish more people understood their individual purpose.

May 31, 2024 10:17 AM
John Pusa
Glendale, CA

Hello Carol Williams it is important to understand out National Military Holidays. Happy Memorial Day.

May 27, 2024 08:15 PM
Carol Williams

For sure, John Pusa 
I don't know what it will take to get more people to understand the purpose of each one, individually.

May 31, 2024 10:18 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Carol Williams  I have been preaching this for over 50 years and about 15 on the internet... you are spot on... some learned others have not, Endre

May 27, 2024 08:57 PM
Carol Williams

Hi Endre Barath, Jr. 
It boggles my mind that people can be so oblivious.

May 31, 2024 10:18 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Nice way to illustrate the importance of getting Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Armed Forces Day correct, Carol. So many people are confused or they refuse to acknowledge the differences. Family members of mine died during war, so am very familiar with the importance of giving thanks to those who perished under active military service on Memorial Day.

May 31, 2024 10:07 AM
Carol Williams

Hi Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can! 
They're confused because they don't bother to get educated. The best way to thank those who lost their lives in war is to protect the freedoms they fought and died for.

May 31, 2024 10:20 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!

Exactly, Carol Williams

May 31, 2024 10:39 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Carol:

Thank you for the clarification of our military holidays. I think many people are not aware of what these holidays actually mean, or perhaps forget.


Jun 01, 2024 10:15 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Carol, you are right, many of these holidays are confusing to the public, thanks for the clarification.

Jun 11, 2024 08:52 AM