Today, I made it a point to watch some of the coverage of President Barack Obama laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I also watched some coverage of the other Memorial Day events around the country. And through all of this coverage, I kept hearing people say to each other in these somber voices, “Happy Memorial Day.”
Really? Is that what we’re supposed to say? Honestly, I don’t know (which is why I’m putting up this entry).
Is Memorial Day a “happy” holiday? Sure, we celebrate the lives of those who have fought and died protecting this country, its allies, and its Constitution. And yes, I’m a firm believer in happy remembrances instead of constant self-pity at the death of those close to us. But is the holiday really a “happy” holiday?
I tend to think not. At the same time, I don’t think that you can rightly walk around saying, “Somber Memorial Day” or “Blessed Memorial Day” to everyone. That might get awkward for any number of reasons. Maybe, as a society, we’ve decided to just throw the word “happy” in front of Memorial Day so we can have something to say to each other. Or maybe there are so many people who are jacked up about the three or four day weekend that they get that they don’t understand the true meaning of the holiday and thus tack “happy” on the front of the holiday’s name since they are happy to be out of work for a few days.
I don’t know. I’d be interested to hear if any of you have some thoughts on what we’re supposed to say today.