Why It's Ok To Say "Happy Memorial Day"

The Geeksultant's picture

Recently, with all of the vandalism aimed at disrupting our celebration of Memorial Day and the current global conflicts we are involved in, many have asked, "Should we not be somber on this day?"

I wholeheartedly disagree. Having served almost a decade in the US Navy, I have seen first hand the sacrifices that these brave men and women make every day, with some, when they are called, making the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives so that others don't have to.

It is those sacrifices that have been made on our behalf over the past 240 years as a nation, and even prior to that, that have kept Americans safe at home.

Just like we've been taught to be somber and hang our heads during a funeral for a loved one, I think there are better ways to remember those that have departed. In New Orleans, when someone dies, yes, everyone feels somber and hurt. However, they make it a point to celebrate the life of the person that has departed them. They gather a band, all of their family and friends, many times even strangers, and they march the soul of their deceased loved one to the gates of heaven with a "Second Line" parade. My wife and I had that privilege a few years ago, sending one of our friends off with a Second Line. It was the most moving funeral I have ever been to. It is how I want to be sent off when it is my time.

My point about Memorial Day being this, yes, remember those that have died in the service of our country. Yes, be somber to a point. But at the end of the day, celebrate these brave souls. Celebrate that you are free because of them. Celebrate that you are a citizen of, and live in the freest country in the world. Celebrate Memorial Day with gladness in your heart because of these things. Stand on your backyard deck today, grill burgers, watch your children and grandchildren play in the yard, look upon your family, friends and loved ones and smile, knowing that those that came before us, those that gave up everything, have given you what you have today, freedom. After today and during the rest of the year, celebrate the men and women that currently serve in the armed forced of our great nation. The next time you see a soldier, a sailor, an airman, a marine or a Coast Guard Guardian (Coastie), offer your hand and say these words, "Thank you for your service. You are appreciated!"