As we recognize Memorial Day, we pause to remember, honor and express our gratitude to all those Veterans who lost their lives in uniform.

At VA, we take this day as a moment to reflect on the men and women whose sacrifices allow us to flourish as individuals and as a nation. As we do, we work to care for those Veterans who still stand with us and rely on us to help them in their times of need.

A history of the holiday

Originally called Decoration Day, from the early tradition of decorating graves with flowers, wreaths and flags, Memorial Day was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers.

After World War I, the day became an occasion for honoring those who died in all of America’s wars and was then more widely established as a national holiday throughout the United States. However, it was not until 1971 that Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act and established that Memorial Day was to be commemorated on the last Monday of May.

Honoring those who served

With over 9 million Veterans counting on VA for quality health care, our work is infused with a deep understanding of their complex needs and challenges.

As we celebrate this Memorial Day, we work as we do every day – turning to our duties committed to making life better for the brave men and women who risk so much to protect our freedom and our country.

For all they have done, we believe it’s up to all of us to make sure Veterans can enjoy the health and happiness they deserve. To that end, we aim to recruit the best and brightest talent – physicians, nurses, support staff, and administration – to help us deliver exceptional care to our nation’s Veterans.

To honor the sacrifices of those who have passed, we strive to be the benchmark of excellence in health care by providing exemplary services to those who are still with us.

Whether developing more advanced treatments, enhancing support services, or expanding access to state-of-the-art facilities where we can help our patients feel better faster, we believe our work pays tribute to those who have given so much in defense of our country.

Work at VA

As we honor the fallen this Memorial Day, consider a career that serves those Veterans who trust in us for their care.

  • READ more about the origins of Memorial Day (PDF).
  • EXPLORE Veteran stories and Memorial Day tributes.
  • LEARN about our mission to care for the nation’s Veterans.
  • SEARCH for your opportunity to join our team at

By VA Careers

Share this story

Published on May. 27, 2022

Estimated reading time is 2.2 min.

Views to date: 744


  1. Phillip Weary May 31, 2022 at 11:25 pm

    Everyday should be Memorial Day dealing with the VA then! How many World War II Veterans died waiting for benefits they had earned when their claims was denied? Vietnam Veterans that was told Agent Orange exposure was harmless and denied? Now Gulf War Veterans that was exposed to some of the very same toxins as those in Vietnam. These are combat Veterans, this does not include those who served at toxic military bases with no health or compensation benefits when it’s known and yet, they die serving this great nation. And when that happens, and it becomes known, instead of reopening all those wrongly denied claim and doing the right thing. Some genius says, hey make them refile. And that’s the VA way ofhonoring those that paid the ultimate sacrifice and their families, the sad truth.

  2. Deborah May May 31, 2022 at 3:45 pm

    Memorial Day is day that has been designated for honor honoring the Fallen. The Fallen are those that died while serving. According to your own definition, a Veteran is someone who serves and then gets out of the military.

    Veterans don’t die in uniform. (Remember, they’ve gotten out of the military)

    Our active duty is wearing the uniform. Active duty military is who dies in uniform.

    Why does the VA not know what Memorial Day is or who dies in uniform? It’s like someone with ZERO knowledge of the military wrote this.

    It’s also incredibly disrespectful to those that have died serving this country.

  3. phil beigbedwr May 28, 2022 at 3:03 pm

    Every year it gets worse for me on this Holiday. I was young drafted into Vietnam War. Many years w agent .

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • With investments in a diverse workforce and leadership, our sense of inclusion equals innovation for the Veterans we serve.

  • “Talk About It Tuesday” guests Lindsay Marth and F. Keith Bradley share their perspectives on what it means to come to VA and support Veterans.

  • Through the Medical Foster Home Program, caregivers can open their homes and their hearts to Veterans who need assistance with daily activities.