Please Stop Saying "Happy" Memorial Day
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Please Stop Saying "Happy" Memorial Day

Freedom is not free.

Please Stop Saying "Happy" Memorial Day
Wikimedia Commons

Long weekend, backyard barbecues, swimming pools, and exciting parties litter the calendars every year. The school year is coming to a close, summer weather is finally upon us, and so many other great reasons to be happy. And, for most people, they happily celebrate the weekend enjoying an extra day off with friends and good food.

But on Memorial Day, do me a favor, don't go through the day feeling the need to celebrate every veteran and thank them for their service profusely. I mean you're certainly welcome to always do that, no matter the holiday, but what I mean is that this is not their day. Their day is November 11th on Veterans Day. Memorial day has a different meaning.

I'm not saying not to be thankful for every service member's contribution. Every day, I'm thankful for the men and women who fight for us, those who willingly put themselves in harms way to protect us and our way of life. But, again Memorial Day is not for them.

Memorial Day is for those who never made it home. The people who sacrificed everything for this great country and all that it stands for. The people who can't be with us at our neighbors house to barbecue and enjoy the three day weekend. The people who not only miss this, but milestones in their children's lives, milestones in their own lives, hopes and dreams they never were able to live. These people are remembered by their loved ones and by names engraved on headstones. Memorial Day is for them.

Memorial Day is for their families, who have to keep living every day without them. Who have to find ways to make ends meet, to have fun, and to be able to celebrate the short lives of people they loved so dearly even though they are gone. People who have to pursue their dreams without Dad, or without Mom present.

Memorial Day is for remembering all that have gone before us in service to this great nation. It's for reminding the surviving families and friends that their loved ones will never be forgotten. It's a time to remember not only for a day, but to remind ourselves how important it is to hug our family members tightly, every chance you get.

The history behind the holiday is simple. The day was created after the Civil War to remember both the Union and Confederate Dead. It was originally known as Decoration Day. The name changed through the years and in 1971, Memorial day was named a national holiday.

The point of this article was not necessarily to make you feel bad for enjoying a long weekend and friendly barbecue, but to remind you how important this day is. To remind you the true meaning of the day, and to remind you that Freedom is not free. Every day men and women put themselves in harms way to protect our way of life, those that have given the ultimate sacrifice, those are who this day is for.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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