Memorial Day is a time to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice
Dear Annie: I wanted to send you my observation about your advice and columns: You are outstanding! Your replies are heartfelt, and I feel your compassion.
Thank you. — A Friendly Reader
Dear Friendly Reader: You made my day — thank YOU!
Dear Readers: Isn’t it great when things go well in your life and you receive praise? We all feel terrific when that happens, like in the first letter today.
However, that is a preamble to a major mistake I made, and I want to apologize for confusing Veterans Day and Memorial Day.
More than a few readers chastised me, and I truly appreciate their correction. I promise to know the difference going forward. Here were two of the most heartfelt letters, which I thought you’d like to see:
Dear Annie: This is in regard to the open letter you sent to your readers.
While one SHOULD honor armed service men and women on Veterans Day, Memorial Day is NOT the day to do it.
You must remember that many veterans are thinking about their fallen friends; it just makes them feel guilty that you are mentioning them on Memorial Day.
Here’s a possible letter that you could have sent: Dear Readers: This Memorial Day, let’s all think about the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, keep their memories alive, and honor them on this solemn day of remembrance.
My husband died while serving with NATO on active duty 10 years ago. Thank you!
— From Real-Life Experience
Dear Annie: Thank you for taking time in your column to thank all the men and women who are serving in the U.S. armed services. However, you should know the differences between Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day and Veterans Day.
Memorial Day is a federal holiday that honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military and is observed on the last Monday of May every year. Many Americans celebrate Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in local or national parades. It also unofficially marks the beginning of the summer season.
Veterans Day is a federal holiday that honors the men and women who previously served in the U.S. Armed Forces and are still living, though many also celebrate for the deceased as well.
The holiday falls on Nov. 11 of every year, commemorating the first anniversary of the end of World War I on Nov.11, 1918. Veterans Day is celebrated with parades and community gatherings as well, but most just enjoy the day off, and veterans get free food at participating restaurants.
Armed Forces Day is not a federal holiday but is observed every third Saturday in May to honor active duty (current) service members. Armed Forces Day falls during Military Appreciation Month, joining Memorial Day and Military Spouse Appreciation Day. The holiday was created on Aug. 31,1949, by Defense Secretary Louis Johnson to replace separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days and to unify the armed forces under one agency — the Department of Defense. This day is for those who currently wear the uniform and serve the country. — A Proud Wife and Mom of Veterans
Dear Real Life and Proud Wife and Mom: Thank you for enlightening all of us. We should honor our brave men and women in the armed forces, active and veterans, every day of the year. But it is helpful to know the differences between these special days, and your letters spelled them out beautifully.
“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearan[email protected]ators.com.