Why Saying ’Happy Memorial Day” Might Actually Be Insensitive
Dear people of the United States, please, stop wishing others a “Happy Memorial Day” just for the sake of having something to say or because you haven’t really taken the time to wrap your head around the magnitude of this nationally recognized holiday.
A little background for you - Memorial Day is not a day to remember those who have served in the United States military and who are still alive whether in active duty or retired, although we are grateful for them every day, so grateful! Instead, the purpose of Memorial Day is to pause and reflect on the lives of those who died while in service to the United States of America.
We’re talking about men and women who gave their very own life so that you and I can continue to have our pool parties and cookouts and do whatever it is we do on Memorial Day weekend.
While I’m sure those who have sacrificed their lives would be happy that the freedom they fought and gave their lives for enables us to celebrate the unofficial start to the summer season, we owe it to them to not make light of the holiday – to not just throw out the words “Happy Memorial Day” without giving those words serious thought beforehand.
On Memorial Day, we remember those who died. For us. For the cause. For our country.
Of course, you can wish someone a happy Memorial Day as long as it’s coming from a place of gratitude for those who laid down their life for you and not from an insensitive place. We absolutely should celebrate our ability to throw epic parties and fire up the grill, but as long as we aren’t forgetting the real reason we’re able to.
We also need to be considerate to whom we're saying "Happy Memorial Day." Saying those words to someone whose spouse, child, parent, cousin, sibling, or friend died while actively serving our country could be equated to sticking a foot in the mouth. Before you say the words, think about how you would feel if someone said them to you after you lost a loved one.
I'm not asking this of you to hop on the cancel culture bandwagon. I'm asking this of you because as a mom, I know my heart would be bursting with pride if my son were to serve but I also know how it would break a little more each day if he died while in service. I can't imagine the pain I would feel if someone flippantly wished me a "Happy Memorial Day" on a day meant to reflect on my child's death. Does that make sense?
Now, go forth and celebrate your life and love every second you spend with your friends and family, but please, don't forget about those who laid down their lives so that you can live it up.