As Memorial Day weekend rolls around, my husband tends to get more anxious than usual. It isn’t a good anxious though. As a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, 0311, he has fought for you and me in Iraq and has witness things that we probably can’t even imagine, nor have I even been told about. Memorial Day has a completely different meaning to him than picnics with family and friends, store sales and traffic jams. Don’t tell my veteran husband to have a happy Memorial Day because he isn’t happy about it.
He follows the original meaning: to remember those who have died in service for the United States of America. Now is that very happy?
Those who we remember on Memorial Day lost their lives so that people like you and I could live free. These men and women were sons and daughters, possibly mothers and fathers or brothers and sisters. They are likely people who lived down the street from you (whether you lived there or not, who knows), shopped at the same grocery store as you and possibly went to the same movie theaters as you. And because they lost their lives, you think it is a time to be happy and celebrate while eating hot dogs and hamburgers?
Instead of wearing red, white and blue apparel, how about you go back to the roots of Memorial Day and wear red poppies. You could also decorate a veteran’s grave – flowers and flags will do – since Memorial Day was initial Decoration Day. Don’t know a veteran? I am sure there is some kind of memorial in your area that honors our military, country or those who have died for your freedom. Visit that and learn its history. If that is too much of a downer for you, I suppose you could attend a local parade since again, people just love to celebrate Memorial Day. At least you are taking the time out of your day to wave to the veterans in the parade and reflect upon the reasons why the parade is taking place.
But please, don’t wish anyone a happy Memorial Day, especially my veteran husband. More than likely you don’t know their past, if they are in the military, are a veteran, have had family and friends die fighting for our freedom or currently have someone overseas in the midst of war.
Memorial Day is not a day to be happy and celebrate but a day to remember. Thank those who serve our country on Veterans Day and honor those who we have lost along the way on Memorial Day.