Don’t forget to remember

Just had a couple points to ponder this Memorial Day.

First of all, I don’t want to come across as censorious or offended or anything of that nature, but as should be obvious by now, words mean things.  In that respect, I respectfully suggest that you not wish anyone a “Happy Memorial Day.”  I mean, acknowledge the holiday as you see fit and don’t feel bad about wishing someone a nice family party or a good cookout or even a fun day off, but considering the subject, if you’re having a “Happy Memorial Day,” then you’re doing it wrong.  It’s fine to wish someone a “Happy Veterans’ Day” because “veteran” at least implies that someone came home and his life went on after his service, but if you’re actually observing the holiday, Memorial Day should be a sad and serious occasion.  Better men than the world today knows the like of gave their lives for generations they’d never know.  That’s the point of Memorial Day.

That said, I don’t mean to come across as the fun police and I don’t begrudge anyone their barbecues or beach trips or what have you.  Nor do I think it’s necessary to wallow in sad remembrances of past horrors all day long.  A moment just to not be forgotten is really all the heroes of the past ask.  Really, I’m inclined to think that if the men who died for this country could see how it is today, see the wonders of the world their sacrifices made possible and the comfortable lives their grandchildren and countrymen can live, so far removed from the living hell of war that we have to set aside a day to make ourselves take a moment to remember, I think those long-departed warriors would be happy.  They didn’t die so we could spend our lives weeping at their graves.  They died to make the world a better place–and it is.

Just suggestions.  Spare them a moment’s thought and a little gratitude for your high-speed internet, your air conditioning, your measles shot, your full refrigerator, and all the other trappings brought to you by modern Western civilization, and then honor them by enjoying the life they made possible.

Have a good day, my friends, and have a safe Memorial Day.

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