The origin of Memorial Day is a bit . . . controversial. Don’t believe me? Take a look at snopes.com. That place is usually pretty solid with the answers. It’s kind of what Snopes does.
Happy Memorial Day everyone. May those who paid the ultimate price in service of their country be remembered. In fact, may all loved ones be remembered. Why not, right? A day to remember all of our fallen friends and family isn’t a bad thing, is it? I mean, does it really matter how or where they died to offer up a day of remembrance? My grandma visits her parents and husband today–none of them died in a war. I don’t see anything wrong with her taking flowers to their graves today, do you?
Me? I don’t. I don’t have a lot of military family members. I’ve also been lucky enough to have not lost many loved ones. Of the ones I have lost, I remember them my own ways on my own days and frankly it’s between them and me.
That said, I find it odd wishing people a ‘happy’ Memorial Day. Maybe, to a certain extent, there can be some happiness around remembering your children, spouses, parents, friends, and other family members and acquaintances who died serving their country. I guess when I think of those around me who have died I can smile at the good times we had. In fact I do, remembering the way my friend Nathan called me “Stu-Stu-Stuevio” like he was singing that Phil Collins song “Sussudio.” I laugh, occasionally, when I think of the student I lost a few years ago in a car accident. His sly comments in class were always entertaining. He was a good kid who possessed just the right amount of smartass and intelligence to make me fond of him.
Still, considering what Memorial Day is for on a national scale, I can’t completely commit to a ‘happy’ one in that regard, you know? Instead, what I do–what my family does–every year is spend Memorial Day at Adventureland. It isn’t important. It isn’t noble. It isn’t altruistic, heroic, or anything even remotely close to anything like that.
It is, however, memorial.