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Today is Memorial Day. The first time Memorial Day was celebrated was 1868. The date was initially selected because it was a date that had not previously included a battle. It also was not always called Memorial Day. At one point it was called Decoration Day. Regardless of the name or date, it has always been a day to honor soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Often times Memorial Day is confused with Veteran’s Day. This mistake is usually made by someone who wants to acknowledge and honor a military member. I’ve even made the mistake earlier in my military career. The easiest way that I can remember the difference is that on Veteran’s Day, veterans both living and passed are honored. In other words, those who have passed are celebrated twice a year, whereas active duty and those still living only get the spotlight one time a year.

Furthermore, you wouldn’t wish a veteran a happy Memorial Day. So if you can remember that you attend a memorial service when someone dies, you can remember that Memorial Day is to remember those veterans who left us. Hopefully you aren’t reading this after having made the mistake. But if you are, cheer up. Veteran’s Day is only 164 days away.

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