I’m sure they meant well. But still…The Franklin Public Schools (FPS) sent out its regular weekly newsletter today. The e-mail alerting recipients began this way:
All FPS Families & Staff – Happy Holiday Weekend!
See anything wrong there? Should be rather obvious.
At the risk of over-simplification it’s simply wrong, arguably offensive. What in the world is happy about this weekend? Other than people get a chance to barbecue and have a day off.
A woman named Heather writes a lifestyle blog, “Country Life City Wife.” She makes a compelling, common sense case:
WHY I DON’T SAY HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY
I watched from the window as they took the body from the plane; thinking how extraordinarily strong those Marines were not to break down as they greeted the family of their fallen brother; the parents waiting to receive the corpse of their child. I watched the coffin, draped in the United States flag as it was removed from the plane and tears fell. I watched the family. I watched. I didn’t know him. I just knew another man gave his life for my country just as the 1.3 million of our military gave theirs before he did. Happy? As I watched, I didn’t see “happy”.
My dad rarely talks about it. He served three tours in Vietnam. I don’t know everything that happened there and while I wish he would tell me, he won’t. I know he lost friends he saw as brothers. I know the battles are beyond what I could comprehend and I know Hollywood may try to reenact it to earn box-office dollars, but they’ll never quite hit the mark. For those who have lived through others dying, it damn well wasn’t “happy”. It still isn’t.
Given our ties to the military, it has started. Just as in years past, people are telling the hubs and me to have a Happy Memorial Day. They thank him, sometimes through me, for his service and they gleefully wish us a GRRREAT!! holiday weekend. The truth? I cringe. I got an email this morning wishing me a Happy Memorial Day weekend and I cringed again.
Guys, here’s the thing. It’s not great. The fact is Memorial Day is not a happy occasion. Now please don’t get me wrong, we realize it’s an innocent gesture with good intentions behind it. It seems most people see Memorial Day weekend as not much more than the start to summer vacation along with a day off from work. They’ll spend their Monday barbecuing in the backyard, maybe frolicking at the beach or looking for the big sales at the mall. For those who run into service-members, they may thank them for their service and wish them a Happy Memorial Day. They’ll likely receive an awkward and forced ‘thank you’ then go on about their business.
There’s more that you can read here.