Is Memorial Day for all Veteran or just WWII Vets?

I always thought Memorial Day was for all Vets. But this article seems to imply the parades are only for WWII? :confused:.

IIRC didn’t V-J (Victory over Japan) Day get bundled into Memorial Day?

Shouldn’t the Viet Nam Vets be honored in parades by now? Or even the The Gulf War Vets from 1991?

There is no such implication in the article, and the very portion you quoted mentions both the Civil War and Vietnam.

Well why in the heck couldn’t they find Veterans for a parade?

Over a quarter million men served in Viet Nam.

This sure implies that the parade was for WWII.

It reads to me like they wanted to include WWII vets in the event, and they couldn’t do so in a parade format.

Looks like the original news story came from the Boston Globe.

Just superficial and misleading reporting in that article, is all. This articleon the same event indicates that the cancellation was in part due to lack of interest by younger veterans, not just due to the age of WWII vets.

Well Memorial Day isn’t really for Veterans. It’s for those that didn’t make it back to become Veterans. Veterans Day is in November.

That article also says:

That’s a good point. We’re honoring the fallen soldiers on Memorial Day.

I can remember going with dad to put flowers on Veterans graves.

Memorial Day isn’t for veterans at all (that would be Veterans’ Day). Memorial Day is to remember the war dead. That’s why it’s also known as Remembrance Day (although, infelicitously, Remembrance Day in those other countries is observed on November 11, our Veterans’ Day).

Now, many veterans served with some who did not make it back from war. But there seems to be a troubling revisionism in these Memorial Day parades that celebrate old living veterans. Of all the days of the year, Memorial Day is the day to remember that some soldiers don’t get to make it to 95 years old. It’s not about grandpa reminiscing about doing the Charleston in Paris in the mid-40s. It is about the fact that in every war, young sons and brothers and fathers (and these days, daughters and sisters and mothers) die in service to their country, and we ought to reflect on this sobering fact, even if it’s not the most cheerful thought in the world.

Some media outlets instead do features on service members who’ve died in duty within the past year, which I think is better in keeping with what Memorial Day is all about.

I remember growing up in the fifties that Memorial Day was for any beloved who died. That was the day you went to the cemetery to put flowers on deceased family members’ graves.

Veterans Day was to honor veterans, dead or alive.

It was originally called Decoration Day, and was dedicated to putting flowers and other decorations on graves of soldiers who fell in the Civil War.

Having known several who did not make it back it does not feel right when someone thanks me for my service. See me in November. It will still feel wrong but at least it’s the correct day.

Nam vets were NOT exactly welcomed by WWI, II, and Korean veterans into the local VFW posts with open arms. Except for their dues. And they never felt much like marching in parades.

*Now every April I sit on my porch
And I watch the parade pass before me
I see my old comrades, how proudly they march
Reliving their dreams of past glories
I see the old men all tired, stiff and sore
Those weary old heroes of a forgotten war
And the young people ask “What are they marching for?”
And I ask myself the same question

And the band plays Waltzing Matilda
And the old men still answer the call
But year after year, their numbers get fewer
Someday there’ll be no one to march there at all *

That would explain the shortage of available marchers.

In THIS universe, anyway…

Wrong on both counts.

I realize now that our tradition was wrong historically.

Just curious if any others had the same (wrong) idea that Memorial Day was “in memory of” as a generality.

Although they did change the name from Decoration Day (which more obviously pertains to the military) to Memorial Day which is somewhat vague.

Why and when was the reason for the name change?

My father-in-law is a Vietnam vet. He has refused to march in Memorial Day parades before. From him and other Vietnam vets, I get the impression that relatively few Vietnam vets are interested in celebrating their veteran status. Probably because it was such an unpopular war.

I wonder if Iraq War veterans will behave similarly in the future.

Decoration Day was named because that is when they decorated the graves of the Civil War dead. It morphed into Memorial Day because it became more than just placing wreaths and flags and it became more than just about the Civil War. The name change wasn’t universal until it was set by law in 1967.