All comments below, both “There is no “Happy” in Memorial Day and the response were taken from DemocraticUnderground.com
There is no “Happy” in Memorial Day.
I wish the survivors of those who have died all the peace possible. To the survivors who continue to suffer I wish them peace, too. All these years later, we don’t even know where some of them are, living ghosts, continuing to somehow survive.
There is no “Happy” in Memorial Day.
Only the unknowing use that term. Those who use the term likely mean well. That they do doesn’t anger me. Instead it makes me sad.
There is no “Happy” in Memorial Day. – Stinky the Clown
Without at all meaning to discredit your point, may I offer an alternative perspective?
(A personal preface: my brother served in Afghanistan and Iraq, and in one particular operation three of the men in his company were killed in a suicide bombing. Had the timing been slightly different, one of those men would have gone home to his family, and my brother would not have. I do not dare say that God looked out for my brother, for to do so would imply that he did not look out for the other three, that they somehow did not earn his favor, that their families were somehow unworthy of having their sons returned safe and whole to them, and that is a crude and unacceptable premise to me–I only revere and remember them as well as I can.)
Perhaps unjustifiably, I compare Memorial Day to Dia de Los Muertos in Mexico, because it is the closest thing we have to what I view as a very healthy and necessary holiday. There are important distinctions–honoring the dead who are fallen in battle, ostensibly defending us or at the least in our name, is quite different from honoring all of one’s departed friends and relatives. However, I love and value the spirit of Dia de los Muertos, in that it is a time to acknowledge our mortality, to laugh at and with death, affirming the continuing connection between the living and the dead, and of course, to maintain that connection through a very joyful, yet very deep, honoring and celebration of the lives and memory of the departed. The acknowledgement of death in our daily lives is something we do very poorly in the United States. The reality of mortality is hidden from view, talked about in hushed tones. People here prefer to ignore death and the dead; as I have discovered, it is difficult to speak even positively or joyfully of the memories of the dead, to acknowledge that their existence continues to play a role in our lives, because any mention of those who are gone implies the existence of something we have no ability to view as an inevitable and even positive part of life itself. My theory is that if we were to think of death in a more accepting and less dreadful way, we would do a much better job of honoring the dead.
So I feel that just as there is no reason to deny the very deep tragedy of death, particularly military death, and while I would never ask anyone to hide their sadness or fake a happiness they do not feel, I also feel that it can be appropriate, at least in certain circumstances, to acknowledging that the act of remembering the lost, bittersweet as it is, can be a happy act, underscoring the continuing value of their existences and the their lives brought and continue to bring to us.
Again, I acknowledge that there are limitations to this perspective–I don’t think it would be good to view unnecessary death in war in a more “accepting and less dreadful way,” but I do feel that whatever the manner of one’s end, it is valuable to remember the happiness that went along with one’s existence. – antigone382
Workout of the Day: