I am mystified by all the people who have wished others “Happy Memorial Day” on facebook, twitter, store signs and more.
This is not the kind of holiday I think of in the same vein as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Easter, or New Year’s.
Like Veteran’s Day, it is a day to remember service and sacrifice. And while it is absolutely right to celebrate the fact that so many in this country have been willing to serve–even to the point of the ultimate sacrifice–so that all of us Americans, no matter who we are, can enjoy the same freedoms, it is wrong to celebrate without remembering.
People died in the service of this country. That’s what today is all about–that’s who we are remembering.
Is it a happy day? Yes, because we are able to enjoy those hard-earned freedoms. But that happiness is bittersweet. It came at a great personal price for a great many people. When the flag passed you by at the parade today, carried by proud veterans, did you bother getting up from your chair and saluting or clapping or singing along to the band playing “God Bless America?” An awful lot of people at the parade I attended couldn’t be bothered.
So I’m just not sure that “Happy Memorial Day” is the way I want to be greeted.