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Barbara Rolek

Memorial Day vs. Veterans Day vs. Armed Forces Day

By November 11, 2013

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Girl with Polish and U.S. Flags
Girl with Polish and U.S. Flags
© Sweetpea11215 on Flickr.
In the United States, according to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, "Memorial Day (the last Monday in May) 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. While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day (Nov. 11) is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military -- in wartime or peacetime."

Armed Forces Day, however, is celebrated on the third Saturday in May and it honors active-duty personnel. In Eastern Europe, it's the same story -- different days commemorate those lost in wars, all those who served their country, and military personnel currently serving.

In Poland, Memorial Day is known as zadutszki and it is celebrated on Nov. 1, the same day as All Saints' Day. Besides the remembrance of lost loved ones, Poland remembers all those lost in World War II, from 1939-1945. Graves are adorned with flowers and candles and it's a day of prayer in church. Armed Forces Day is celebrated on Aug. 15, which coincides with the Catholic holiday of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and was created to memorialize the Battle of Warsaw, Aug. 12-25, 1920.

In Bulgaria, The Day of Bravery is commemorated every year on May 6, the feast of St. George, who is the patron saint of the Bulgarian Army. In Croatia, Day of the Croatian Armed Forces is celebrated on May 28. In Hungary, the Day of Patriots and Military is celebrated on May 21, and a commemoration of the 1956 uprising against Soviet rule is observed on Oct. 23.

In Romania, Armed Forces Day is celebrated on Oct. 25. On that date in 1944, the Romanian Army liberated Carei, the last Romanian city under foreign occupation. Memorial Day is celebrated on May 25. In Russia, Defender of the Fatherland Day or Armed Forces Day is celebrated on Feb. 23. In Slovenia, Dan Slovenske Vojske or Day of the Slovenian Army is celebrated on May 15.

Czechs celebrate Armed Forces Day on June 30 and Lithuanians celebrate on Nov. 30. For Serbs, it's Feb. 15.

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May 28, 2013 at 8:04 pm
(1) Terry Bagley says:

Good info we can’t help but love our parents on these days. In the Koresn war my dad went through a barbed wire fence while being chased by the enemy. Bet it smarted. Hope you had a great weekend. My Robb’s were delicious. Love to all

November 11, 2013 at 8:44 pm
(2) johnny harrißon says:

My dad is in the army and also i want to say amen

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