Here in North Dakota, Memorial Day, Armed Services Day, and Veterans Day hold profound significance. They're etched in our hearts as reminders of the sacrifices made by our servicemembers throughout history.

This year, Memorial Day is Monday, May 27.

Heading into Memorial Day, a new survey sheds a very disappointing light on how little Americans actually know about the holiday -- specifically why we celebrate it. The USAA survey found that only 46% of respondents knew that Memorial Day is for honoring military service members who lost their lives in military conflict.

45% of people also believe the appropriate way to observe the holiday is to wish a veteran a "Happy Memorial Day" or thank them for their service. While the intentions are well-meaning, the survey results suggest that more education would be beneficial for everyone.


Memorial Day, observed on the last Monday of May, is a solemn day dedicated to honoring and remembering the military personnel who have died in service to their country.

Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated after the Civil War to commemorate Union and Confederate soldiers who perished in battle. Over time, it evolved to include honoring all American military personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Wearing poppies on Memorial Day is a tradition to honor and remember fallen soldiers.

The Williston Basin Military Affairs Committee's Memorial Day Ceremony will be Monday, May 27 at 10:50am in the Veteran's Plaza at Riverview Cemetery in Williston. If you are unable to attend, the ceremony will be broadcast on 660 KEYZ News Radio.

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Getty Images

Armed Services Day, celebrated on the third Saturday in May, stands as a tribute to the men and women currently serving in the United States Armed Forces. It's a day to recognize their dedication, commitment, and ongoing sacrifices to protect our nation's freedoms.

Veterans Day, observed annually on November 11th, is a day to honor and express gratitude to all military veterans who have served in the United States Armed Forces.

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On these significant days, ceremonies, parades, and events are held across the state to honor and remember our servicemembers. It's a time for reflection, gratitude, and unity as we come together to recognize the bravery and sacrifices made by those who serve and have served in our armed forces.

So, to recap–

Memorial Day is to recognize fallen military who died in service.

Armed Forces Day is dedicated to honoring and recognizing those currently serving in all branches of the U.S. military.

Veterans Day honors all who have served in the U.S. military and is considered a celebration of all veterans, living and dead.

By understanding the significance of Memorial Day, Armed Services Day, and Veterans Day, we can ensure that the dedication and sacrifices of North Dakota's servicemembers are never forgotten, and their contributions are celebrated with the utmost respect and appreciation.

Read More: 5 Ways To Truly Honor Memorial Day: A Guide To Respectful Reflection.

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Gallery Credit: Jill Jaracz

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