Re­mem­ber the fallen

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - An­nie Lane

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:

(SET ITAL) 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. (END ITAL)

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.

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