The start of the summer season is unofficially Memorial Day.  The day signals the beginning of warmer days, outdoor adventures, and creating memories that will, hopefully, last a lifetime.  The origins of the day are rooted in honoring fallen heroes.

Memorial Day - the background

According to The US Department of Veterans Affairs, Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day. It was established as a day for the nation to decorate the graves of war dead with flowers. PBS says Memorial Day was first observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, and organization of former Union sailors and soldiers.

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Veterans Day - What to Know

Veterans Day was created as Armistice Day on November 11, 1919, to commemorate the end of World War 1. In 1938, Congress passed an act making November 11, a legal holiday.  They amended that act in 1954 to replace the word "Armistice" with "Veterans".  Also, note that Veterans Day does not include an apostrophe but does include an “s” at the end of “veterans” because it is not a day that “belongs” to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans.

The big deal and there is one

What's the difference and is there one?  Yes, it's subtle but significant.  My brother-in-law, a decorated pilot in the military, explains it this way.  "They will say thank you, for your service and I appreciate that, but the day is not about me, it's about those who have passed and we remember them".

Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day. 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. 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. 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. (Courtesy of the Department of Veterans Affairs)

Iowans Share the Stories Behind Their Pets' Names

In honor of National Pet Day on April 11th, we asked Iowans how their pets got their names! Here are some of their stories:

Gallery Credit: Courtlin

Iowa Barn Tour 2024

Some of the historic Iowa barns that are featured on this year's Iowa Barn Tour.

Gallery Credit: Ryan Brainard


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