An anonymous person posted a suggestion to social media that everyone should "Thank a Veteran this Memorial Day." I thought that proposal sounded like a good idea, so to all my former uniformed brethren - I say with a grateful heart, "Thank you for your service."
However, no sooner had the anonymous person posted their statement of gratitude, another well-meaning person responded with the following meme:
Giving benefit of the doubt, I believe the second poster's intentions were good, and I agree that wishing someone a "Happy Memorial Day" is culturally insensitive. Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor the sacrifices of our nation’s men and women who have fallen in combat. There is nothing that is "happy" about this annual observance, and as such the phrase "Happy Memorial Day" is at best an oxymoron, and at worst it is an insult to those who have lost loved ones during their time in service.
However, while I agree that we should NEVER utter the words "Happy Memorial Day" because they dishonor the meaning of that holiday, we can ALWAYS thank our veterans - whether it's Memorial Day, or Veteran's Day, or Independence Day, or Mother's Day, or Christmas Day, or a Tuesday, or a Friday, or any day that ends in "day."
In one fashion or another, every veteran has sacrificed, which is amply expressed by the following adage: "All gave some, but some gave all."
For more information about Memorial Day, see The Tangled Roots of Memorial Day and Why It's Celebrated on the NY Times website.