The meaning of Memorial Day

| 31 May 2024 | 02:15

    I write this not to criticize but to clarify. As Americans we all understand and are grateful for the sacrifices made and being made today by our military forces while defending our nation. In recognizing these sacrifices, unfortunately, sometimes there is a mistaken sentiment expressed during the Memorial Day weekend.

    In contrast to Veteran’s Day celebrations in November, Memorial Day ceremonies and remembrances are exclusively meant to honor those military personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice of losing their lives in defense of our country. Using the statement, “Happy Memorial Day,” or perhaps, “Have a Happy Memorial Day weekend,” is a completely incorrect expression. The day is meant to honor and revere those who have fallen; therefore in order to be sensitive to their memory there should be nothing happy about the sentiment used. A more appropriate sentiment would just be, “Have a nice Weekend.”

    Sadly, the mistaken meaning of Memorial Day has recently been expressed by none other than two members of congress who have had to delete their statements. Being uninformed, in their original statements regarding Memorial Day, they expressed support for veterans and the efforts to provide benefits to today’s veterans. Veteran’s Day is, of course, meant to honor all veterans for their service. In contrast, Memorial Day is meant to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

    Carmine Garritano, Sr. Vice Commander

    Warwick Valley VFW Post 4662