Posted on May 25, 2014
Sgt Jaime Lima
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Posted in these groups: Md Memorial Day
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SSgt Investigative Analyst
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I absolutely get what you’re saying. Just today someone, a dear friend who has never served, wished me a Happy Memorial Day, and I was struck with the irony. But it’s how we, as a society, acknowledge our holidays. Merry Christmas, Happy Easter, Happy Fourth of July, Happy New Year, Happy Chanukah, Happy Birthday. Should we chastise them for not knowing a better way to express their appreciation for our fallen comrades, or take it with the same professionalism and solemnity we show when someone thanks us for our service?

It’s not a happy holiday. Is it really a sad one? We honor those that went before us on Memorial Day. We should remember them not with melancholy, but with celebration. I’ve lost only one friend to enemy action. Just one. Will I spend tomorrow crying over his death, or smiling that my friend was in my life for the short time we knew each other?

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”
George S. Patton
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CMSgt James Nolan
CMSgt James Nolan
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Well put Tony. And on point. It should be neither a happy nor sad day. It should be a day of honor. It should be a day of remembrance, for some the memories will trigger strong emotional responses. For those, we should have respect, as someone dear gave all. We as warriors stand ready, but hopefully for every one of us who stand ready, there is someone in our lives who is not ready to let us go. For them the day will evoke sad memories, that are also filled with pride, because they know how much we love this great nation. Which brings us back to a day of honor!
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TSgt Nina Augustine
TSgt Nina Augustine
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I often try to see past the words people say and hear the heart of it. I have never met a person who said “Happy Memorial Day,” and didn’t mean it sincerely. So, I say “thank you,” while being grateful that most people don’t truly understand what it means to suffer the ultimate loss.

But President Lincoln said it best on 19 November 1863 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
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CPT Public Affairs Officer
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I heard something in my car this morning that I found captured the intended sentiment better:

"Honor Memorial Day"

While it is not an exact encapsulation of the actual intent of the holiday, it definitely points out the fact that many are missing the point. I wish I could remember who it was that stated this.

In my mind, it seems as though this helps people readdress what the holiday is about.
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SFC Stephen King
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