“Happy Memorial Day!” – this statement does not really sit well with me. To me it is an oxymoron. Why are we happy that we have a day where we celebrate those who have paid the ultimate price? It saddens me actually. To know there were men and women who went and fought for me and died. Is that really something to celebrate?
Now I must admit I have never served in the military but a love for this country and the ones who have served has been instilled in me since I was a baby. I remember sitting with my Pa (that is my grandfather from my dad’s side) and him telling me a little of what he experienced in Korea. I am sure that those who have served would say that those experience of war are nothing to celebrate. They would say the losing of friends , their brothers, is nothing to celebrate. They would say seeing families swallowed up in grief because their loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice is nothing to celebrate. Yet we seem to not understand the true and great significance of what this day is all about when we proclaim on Facebook or to one another “Happy Memorial Day!!”. We do not seem to understand the true and great significance of what this day is all about when all we can think about is how we are going to get a long weekend. Try going up to a mother or father who has lost a son or daughter and saying “Happy Memorial Day!” or to the young wife who is now a young widow and single mother and say “Happy Memorial Day!” or to the children of a soldier who they never had the privilege of meeting and say “Happy Memorial Day!”. Allow them to take you to where their loved one now lies, allow them to take the folded flag they were presented with on that sorrowful day they laid them to rest and then see if you can continue to celebrate this day.
Please understand I am not saying to not enjoy this day or this long weekend. I am not saying to not have your cookouts or sleep in. I am sure those who gave their life would say they gave so we could have the freedom to do those things. But please as you do those things don’t do them in celebration but instead do them in remembrance and honor of those heroes who have paid the ultimate price. Better yet invite that mother and father, that young widow, those children and have a day of honoring their heroes. Let us stop celebrating Memorial Day and instead make it a day of teaching our children why we have this day, make it a day of remembrance and honor to those heroes.
Thank you to all those who have served, are serving, and especially to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. We remember and honor you today.