If I hear another person say "Happy" Memorial Day, I may commit mayhem.
There isn't any reason to be happy about this day. None at all. Clearly there is a real and growing misunderstanding about what Memorial Day is all about abroad in the land. I would like to take a moment to clear up the origins and history of this national holiday.
Did you know that the holiday we now celebrate was initiated by black freedmen after the civil war? Well, it was. The freed black population in and around Charleston, SC began this tradition by memorializing the dead Union soldiers buried at Hampton Park. In 1866, "Decoration Day" (as it was known then) was celebrated in Waterloo, New York. The number of cities, and states memorializing our war dead increased until it became a recognized federal holiday, being named "Memorial Day" by act of Congress in 1967.
Now that we know that Memorial Day is a holiday that we use to recognize the sacrifice made by our fallen soldiers, I have to ask you what is there to be happy about? Sure, we celebrate our freedoms, but that is what Independence day is supposed to be about, isn't it? We celebrate our living veterans, but that is what Veteran's Day is supposed to be about. We celebrate our serving soldiers, but that is what Armed Forces Day is supposed to be about.
No, my friends, there is no reason to be "happy" about our war dead. Those men and women are just dead… many of them having died furthering the agendas of our government, NOT securing or protecting American sovereignty. Those men and women deserve no less prayer, consideration, and recognition than any other dead soldier… maybe even more, considering the questionable causes we have sent our soldiers to die for.
As a veteran, and as an American who has known people who have died in battle (and after a battle because of psychological wounds manifested later), I want you to remember our war dead properly. I want you to stop thinking about Memorial Day as the "beginning of the summer season". I want you to stop thinking about Memorial Day as just another long weekend. I want you to THINK about these dead people. I want you to THINK about your own culpability in some of their deaths. I want you to stop waving flags and chanting "USA! USA!" when we send our soldiers to war. I want you to start thinking about ways to lessen our national penchant for expending the lives of our soldiers for bullshit reasons.
Think about it.
"Happy" Memorial Day? How about Solemn Memorial Day, instead.
May all of our war dead rest in peace.