Happy Memorial Day?


“We cherish too, the poppy red that grows on fields where valor led. It seems to signal to the skies that blood of heroes never dies.”   -Moina Michael

© Cheryl Wright 2014, Barrows Park, North Attleboro, MA

I find it odd that the word happy would be used as an adjective to describe Memorial Day.  After all, there really isn’t anything happy about it.  Isn’t it supposed to be a day of remembrance of those military personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice?  To me it seems appreciative would be a better word choice.

Maybe it is because I am a military mom with a son and a son-in-law in the Navy that makes me a bit upset when I hear people refer to this somber day as a day to party and have fun! I have had the privilege to find other military moms on the Internet, some who have first-hand knowledge that freedom comes with a price.  And that price was the very child who once grew under their heart. In my opinion forgetting the importance of this day is disrespecting the memory of those who have died in the line of duty for a hot dog and a beer.

Vietnam Memorial
© Cheryl Wright 2014, Barrows Park, North Attleboro, MA

Memorial Day Weekend is the second most popular holiday (4th of July being the first) where it seems the only thing being honored is the barbecue grill.  Many can find the time to go shopping for a bathing suit but cannot spare the time to actually honor, in some way, those men and women who died serving this country. Memorial Day should not be known as the beginning of summer, store sales, or a day off from work or school. Military members and their families take this day very seriously. And to be honest, when the true meaning of this holiday gets lost somehow it is like a slap in the face!

© Cheryl Wright 2014, Barrows Park, North Attleboro, MA

Once known as Decoration Day, a day in which people decorated the graves of fallen soldiers has turned into Memorial Day, a day in which many graves are ignored and neglected.

I wonder how many know about the National Moment of Remembrance.  All Americans, as an act of national unity, are asked to reflect and remember our fallen heroes at 3:00 pm on Memorial Day.  Will you be taking a few moments to reflect and remember the reason you are able to live so free?

Here is the real definition of Memorial Day. It is the day in which we honor and remember those military members who never came home. Period!

© Cheryl Wright 2014

Check out this song. It’s awesome and always seems to make me cry.



  1. Well said, Cheryl! This morning my husband and I were talking this morning about how odd it is to including the “happy” with “Memorial Day.” It doesn’t make any sense at all to a holiday that is set aside to honor those who gave their lives. Thank you for expressing so well exactly my thoughts on this topic. 🙂

  2. Thanks for this reminder. It’s so sad that people forget the ones who sacrificed everything so that the rest of us can be free to have those parties. Thank you to all our military families!

  3. Happy Memorial Day to you as well. Our flag is flying today, and we’re saying special prayers for our lost (but not forgotten) family members that served our country proudly.

  4. This is a good post, Cheryl. I feel like this is but one of the holidays that corporations have taken over and changed. As a kid we went to the Memorial Day Parade in our little town, run by one of the local men’s groups (not sure who, I was in my teens) so it was discussed. Veterans walked or rode in open cars, and it was political too as i was a teen during Vietnam. After yes, we picnicked outdoors, but the parade came first, and the men in the parade were there too, sometimes giving speeches in the small park. Seems we have forgotten the parade.

    My mom, who was a left-wing anti-Vietnam War gal, always said, “It’s the war I am against, not the (then) men who are fighting it. They are someone’s son/husband/father.” Stayed with me, and I am horrifed at how both Dems and Repubs think nothing of sending our kids off to battle then forgetting about them when they come home. We have two friends who are docs at the Veteran’s Hospital. I will take a moment for your sons.

  5. Hi Cheryl
    Thank you for writing this post. I think you bring up some very good points. The true purpose of this day is very easily lost, and just seen as a day to bust out the barbeque. Being in Thailand right now where there is some political upheaval, it does make me think of the freedoms of America, and the people who fought for them.

  6. Very well said, Cheryl. Most people don’t have anyone serving and are so far away from what’s actually going on that they just don’t see it. I can certainly appreciate your view, having your son and son-in-law in the Navy.

    It is true that the majority of people see this as a holiday, a long weekend. It’s a day off work and a reprieve from the jobs that they’re not so fond of. I’ve been in this category, I must confess.

    Thank you for bringing this up to my attention. I will be viewing this day differently now. Peace.

  7. Thank you for this post and thank your son and son-in-law and your entire family for their service. I know it is not just the men who sacrifice, and I always stumble over wishing others a “Happy” Memorial Day. Instead, I’ve begun asking people to enjoy Memorial Day, which I guess is only a bit better.

    As a single mom of 5 boys, I know the my boys and I would have very different lives without those putting their lives on the line to give us the chance for faith, freedom, and a better life. There is not a day that goes by that we do not pray for all our Military. There are no words for my gratitude, but I tried to express it here. http://www.singlemomsmiling.com/how-does-single-mom-say-thank-you-memorial-day/

    Thank you and God Bless…

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