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Today is not a “happy” day, ‘Merkans

May 27, 2013

I’ve made it abundantly clear in the past that there are certain holidays for which I have little to no use- Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, to name three- because they are either ridiculous and unnecessary, and/or have been Americanized (i.e., the reason the day exists has totally been forgotten or ignored, and the day now exists for no other reason than to drink to excess). But folks, we can’t even get our OWN holidays right.

FYI, “Mexican Independence Day” is celebrated on September 16th- IN MEXICO. Cinco de Mayo commemorates Mexico’s victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla. Neither has anything to do with Corona overindulgence and half-price tequila shots.

[crickets]

Obviously, Independence Day commemorates the day we became a nation independent from the “evil tyranny” of the British empire. (See also: Declaration of Independence.)

Today is Memorial Day. The name should be enough to know why today is a “holiday”, but clearly, people still don’t get it. Memorial Day is not a “happy” holiday. It is a day meant to reflect upon the men and women that gave their lives to protect our freedom. Actually, it was originally a day meant to honor those that lost their lives in the fight to abolish slavery. (Hat tip to my good friend Kelly for that article.) Regardless, wishing people a “happy” Memorial Day is a bit twisted. And to be perfectly honest, thanking the currently serving men and women is incorrect. That is what Veterans Day is for.

But here is the rub.

There shouldn’t even be a Memorial Day OR a Veterans Day. Now before you go bombarding me with curse-riddled comments, hear me out.

I’ve often mentioned how Valentine’s Day is stupid worthless unnecessary, in that one’s love for their significant other should mean no more- nor less- on one day than on any other. And in my mind, if one day IS more special than all others, it should be an anniversary, whether of marriage, of the day the couple met, of the day of their first date, whichever. At any rate, my point is that every day should be “Valentine’s Day”. Exactly the same idea with Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

Instead of taking one day to recognize those that lost their lives, and another to recognize those who are currently serving- and, in the process, bastardizing both days into nothing more than a day off from work/cookout/excuse to drink to excess- we should remember the deceased servicemen and women EVERY day and remember that they died for us to be able to get shitfaced and fall into swimming pools and burn hamburger patties. We should shake the hand of a veteran, whether currently serving or discharged, EVERY day. Buy them a coffee. Hell, just say “thank you”. Veterans deserve a hell of a lot more than what they’re receiving, but that’s another post for another time.

But until we can all learn to treat every day as though it were both Memorial Day and Veterans Day, can we at least correctly distinguish between the two? Veterans Day, November 11, is to honor the current, discharged, and retired living servicemen. Today, Memorial Day, is a solemn day to reflect upon the millions of men and women that died in battle protecting our freedom. So stop wishing people a “happy” Memorial Day. Today is not meant to be a “happy” day. Learn how to at least be correctly patriotic.

Oh, and brush up on your knowledge of the actual origins of Memorial Day.

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