What is the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day? People often confuse the two remembrances, both reserved to honor military personnel but with some nuances between the two.
The Department of Veterans Affairs clarifies the confusion on its website.
“Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day,” military officials wrote on the agency’s home page. “Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle.
Veterans Day is all-inclusive — honoring all veterans, either dead or living — but intended as a day to literally thank military personnel for their service to country.
“While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime,” officials write. “In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served – not only those who died – have sacrificed and done their duty.”
The history of both days of observance are also markedly different. While Memorial Day dates its origins to the period following the Civil War, Veterans Day has its roots in the early part of the 20th century.
“Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971,” the History Channel explains in detailing the origins of Memorial Day. “Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer.”
Conversely, Veterans Day traces its history in the days following the end of World War I, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France,” agency officials explain. “However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.”
The numerical significance of that cessation gives rise to the date of Nov. 11, 1918, being generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.” Sadly, there have been wars since — including the ongoing fight against terrorism that has the distinction of being the longest-running war in U.S. history.
Another difference between both days is the wearing of poppies on Memorial Day. Why are red poppies worn?
“The wearing of poppies in honor of America’s war dead is traditionally done on Memorial Day, not Veterans Day,” officials of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs say. “The practice of wearing of poppies takes its origin from the poem in In Flanders Fields, written in 1915 by John McCrae.”
Those wishing to don red poppies for use on Memorial Day can contact various veterans service organizations, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) or the American Legion. These and other veterans organizations distribute poppies annually on Memorial Day.
“You can find veterans groups in the Veterans Service Organization link on VA’s Veterans Day web page,” the agency writes. “Veterans groups in your area can be found in your local phone book. Look in the yellow pages under “Veterans and Military Organizations” or a similar heading.”
Come November, Veterans Day offers another chance to honor those who serve. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers free posters for those wishing to honor military personnel on that day. Poster requests are fulfilled until the inventory is exhausted. People also can download or print their own poster from the Veterans Day Poster Gallery.
It’s a classic Hollywood scenario. The bad guy cuts the brake lines, the good guy gets in the car, and chaos ensues on a steep road. While you’re unlikely to be the target of a villainous act like severed brake lines, it’s not unreasonable for brakes to fail. If you find yourself in a runaway car with no means of slowing yourself down, your best bet might be to bail. Here’s how to do so in a way that ensures your best chances for survival.
|Bob, a 70-year-old, extremely wealthy widower, shows up at the County Club with a breathtakingly beautiful and very sexy 25-year-old blonde-haired woman. With her youthful sex appeal and charm, she hangs on to Bob’s arm and listens intently to his every word. His buddies at the club are all aghast.
At the very first chance, they corner him and ask, “Bob, how’d you get the trophy girlfriend?” Bob replies, “Girlfriend? She’s my wife!” They are surprised but continue to ask—“So, how’d you persuade her to marry you?”
“I lied about my age,” Bob replies.
“What…did you tell her you were only 50”, they asked.
Bob smiles and says, “No, I told her I was 95.”
Here’s an ambiguous sentence for you: “Because of the agency’s oversight, the corporation’s behavior was sanctioned.” Does that mean, ‘Because the agency oversaw the company’s behavior, they imposed a penalty for some transgression’ or does it mean, ‘Because the agency was inattentive, they overlooked the misbehavior and gave it their approval by default’? We’ve stumbled into the looking-glass world of “contronyms”—words that are their own antonyms.
1. Sanction (via French, from Latin sanctio(n-), from sancire ‘ratify,’) can mean ‘give official permission or approval for (an action)’ or conversely, ‘impose a penalty on.’
2. Oversight is the noun form of two verbs with contrary meanings, “oversee” and “overlook.” “Oversee,” from Old English ofersēon ‘look at from above,’ means ‘supervise’ (medieval Latin for the same thing: super- ‘over’ + videre ‘to see.’) “Overlook” usually means the opposite: ‘to fail to see or observe; to pass over without noticing; to disregard, ignore.’
3. Left can mean either remaining or departed. If the gentlemen have withdrawn to the drawing room for after-dinner cigars, who’s left? (The gentlemen have left and the ladies are left.)
4. Dust, along with the next two words, is a noun turned into a verb meaning either to add or to remove the thing in question. Only the context will tell you which it is. When you dust are you applying dust or removing it? It depends whether you’re dusting the crops or the furniture.
5. Seed can also go either way. If you seed the lawn you add seeds, but if you seed a tomato you remove them.
6. Stone is another verb to use with caution. You can stone some peaches, but please don’t stone your neighbor (even if he says he likes to get stoned).
7. Trim as a verb predates the noun, but it can also mean either adding or taking away. Arising from an Old English word meaning ‘to make firm or strong; to settle, arrange,’ “trim” came to mean ‘to prepare, make ready.’ Depending on who or what was being readied, it could mean either of two contradictory things: ‘to decorate something with ribbons, laces, or the like to give it a finished appearance’ or ‘to cut off the outgrowths or irregularities of.’ And the context doesn’t always make it clear. If you’re trimming the tree are you using tinsel or a chain saw?
8. Cleave can be cleaved into two “homographs,” words with different origins that end up spelled the same. “Cleave,” meaning ‘to cling to or adhere,’ comes from an Old English word that took the forms cleofian, clifian, or clīfan. “Cleave,” with the contrary meaning ‘to split or sever (something), ‘ as you might do with a cleaver, comes from a different Old English word, clēofan. The past participle has taken various forms: “cloven,” which survives in the phrase “cloven hoof,” “cleft,” as in a “cleft palate” or “cleaved.”
9. Resign works as a contronym in writing. This time we have homographs, but not homophones. “Resign,” meaning ‘to quit,’ is spelled the same as “resign,” meaning ‘to sign up again,’ but it’s pronounced differently.
10. Fast can mean “moving rapidly,” as in “running fast,” or ‘fixed, unmoving,’ as in “holding fast.” If colors are fast they will not run. The meaning ‘firm, steadfast’ came first. The adverb took on the sense ‘strongly, vigorously,’ which evolved into ‘quickly,’ a meaning that spread to the adjective.
11. Off means ‘deactivated,’ as in “to turn off,” but also ‘activated,’ as in “The alarm went off.”
12. Weather can mean ‘to withstand or come safely through,’ as in “The company weathered the recession,” or it can mean ‘to be worn away’: “The rock was weathered.”
13. Screen can mean ‘to show’ (a movie) or ‘to hide’ (an unsightly view).
14. Help means ‘assist,’ unless you can’t help doing something, when it means ‘prevent.’
15. Clip can mean “to bind together” or “to separate.” You clip sheets of paper to together or separate part of a page by clipping something out. Clip is a pair of homographs, words with different origins spelled the same. Old English clyppan, which means “to clasp with the arms, embrace, hug,” led to our current meaning, “to hold together with a clasp.” The other clip, “to cut or snip (a part) away,” is from Old Norse klippa, which may come from the sound of a shears.
16. Continue usually means to persist in doing something, but as a legal term it means stop a proceeding temporarily.
17. Fight with can be interpreted three ways. “He fought with his mother-in-law” could mean “They argued,” “They served together in the war,” or “He used the old battle-ax as a weapon.” (Thanks to linguistics professor Robert Hertz for this idea.)
18. Flog, meaning “to punish by caning or whipping,” shows up in school slang of the 17th century, but now it can have the contrary meaning, “to promote persistently,” as in “flogging a new book.” Perhaps that meaning arose from the sense ‘to urge (a horse, etc.) forward by whipping,’ which grew out of the earliest meaning.
19. Go means “to proceed,” but also “give out or fail,” i.e., “This car could really go until it started to go.”
20. Hold up can mean “to support” or “to hinder”: “What a friend! When I’m struggling to get on my feet, he’s always there to hold me up.”
21. Out can mean “visible” or “invisible.” For example, “It’s a good thing the full moon was out when the lights went out.”
22. Out of means “outside” or “inside”: “I hardly get out of the house because I work out of my home.”
23. Bitch, as reader Shawn Ravenfire pointed out, can derisively refer to a woman who is considered overly aggressive or domineering, or it can refer to someone passive or submissive.
24. Peer is a person of equal status (as in a jury of one’s peers), but some peers are more equal than others, like the members of the peerage, the British or Irish nobility.
25. Toss out could be either “to suggest” or “to discard”: “I decided to toss out the idea.”
NASA’s Juno probe entered orbit around Jupiter a year ago, and has been gathering data ever since. Now the space agency is releasing spectacular images, such as this one showing Juptier’s south pole. It is a composite of several images, and shows multiple cyclones up to 600 miles in diameter raging around the pole.
|While reading an article last night about fathers and sons, memories came flooding back of the time I took my son out for his first beer. Off we went to our local pub only five blocks from our house and I got him a Guinness. He didn’t like it, so I drank it. Then I got him a Kilkenny’s, he didn’t like that either, so I drank it. I got him a Budweiser. He didn’t like it, so I drank it Finally, I thought he might like some Harp Lager? He didn’t. So I drank it.
So, I thought maybe he’d like whiskey better than beer, so we tried a Jameson’s, nope! Still, in desperation, I had him try Jack Daniels. He wouldn’t even smell it. What could I do but drink it!
Well, my friend, by the time I realized he just didn’t like to drink, I was so drunk I could hardly push his stroller.
|A string goes into a bar, slides onto the bar stool and asks the bartender to give him a beer.
“I don’t serve strings,” the bartender says.
The string goes home, ties himself in a knot, and frays the top of himself. He then returns to the bar and again asks the bartender to give him a beer.
“Hey, aren’t you the string that was just here?” asks the bartender.
The string replies, “No… I’m a frayed knot.”