It happens every May, without fail. On Memorial Day, someone prominent in our government or culture will issue a post on social media or make a comment to a reporter stating, “Happy Memorial Day.” President Donald Trump made the mistake in 2019 and caught a lot of heat for it, and rightfully so. But Trump isn’t and wasn’t alone. Other politicians and celebrities routinely make the same error, and despite our pleas, it seems inevitable someone will make the same misstep tomorrow.
Memorial Day has a very specific purpose. Tomorrow, we honor the fallen soldiers, airmen, sailors, and Marines who were killed in action. We’re not honoring all veterans this weekend, that happens in November on Veterans Day. On the last Monday of May each year, we specifically and solemnly remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. That’s what tomorrow is about: nothing more and nothing less.
Regarding the purpose of the holiday, there’s nothing to be “happy” about. We should be thankful to those servicemen and women. We should reflect on their service and dedication to our great nation. That’s not to say we should spend the day walking around with our heads down and frowns on our faces, but tomorrow is not about joy.
Watching a ballgame or the Indy 500 tomorrow is wholly appropriate, as is sunning by the pool and cooking burgers and hot dogs. That’s what America is about, and that is why those 1.1 million men and women laid down their lives: for our freedom and our way of life.
Those American patriots died during the Revolutionary War so we could live free of Britain’s monarchal tyranny. More Americans died during the Civil War than in any other conflict in order to end our great sin of slavery. And almost a half-million of ‘The Greatest Generation’ died during World War II to save us from the unthinkable evils of fascist Nazism.
Tomorrow is more about remembrance than celebration. It’s OK to be “happy” tomorrow and every day, but that should not be our focus. “Happy” should not be part of our greeting as we interact with friends and relatives. So, while we’re busy playing horseshoes, eating watermelon, and enjoying the advent of a new summer season, we should all take a few moments and remember what this weekend is really all about. And we should thank God for America’s bravest, whose courage has enabled us to experience that happiness.
By Jess Lawson
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Jess Lawson is a regular contributor to The Blue State Conservative and a passionate, conservative millennial who loves America.
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