There are special holidays throughout the year that were created to honor the men and women who have served to protect our country. Two of those holidays are Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Memorial Day and Veterans Day? Positively Osceola would like to help bring some clarification between these two holidays designed for the brave and courageous individuals we call heroes!

Memorial Day:

On the last Monday in May we celebrate Memorial Day. This holiday honors service members who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle.

“Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.”

In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day.

Veterans Day:

Celebrated on November 11th, Veterans Day is designated as a day to honor all who have served in the military. This federal holiday celebrates and honors America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

Veterans Day began as Armistice Day to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918.

Memorial Day St. Cloud

“In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress — at the urging of the veterans service organizations — amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans,” with the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.”

Now that you know the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day, remember the next time you see a veteran or active military be sure to show your appreciation of their service by saying thank you, shaking their hand, or simply giving them a smile.

In commemoration of Memorial Day, City of St. Cloud will be honoring the men & women who gave their lives in service of protecting our nation’s freedom with a special Wreath Laying Ceremony on Monday, May 29, 2023, starting at 10:00 am at Mount Peace Cemetery, located at 755 East 10th Street, St. Cloud.