Friday, May 27, 2016

Stop! Do NOT thank a veteran this weekend

I have a confession. I screwed up. Again and again. I somehow mixed up Memorial Day with Veteran's Day and, though well-intentioned, sent out the wrong message. Actually, I didn't really confuse the two dates or their purpose. I just did something that wasn't appropriate on Memorial Day.

Photo courtesy of Morguefile

While we honor those who've served, both past and present, on Veteran's Day, Memorial Day is set apart to honor those who have died. We memorialize them with parades and programs and visits to the cemeteries. We honor their sacrifices. We pay homage to their courage. 

So how did I fail? By thanking the veterans I know who are still living on a day meant to pay tribute to the dead. My son-in-law, who was a sergeant in the Marines and served two tours of duty in Iraq, is the one who corrected me a couple of years ago as I was thanking him for his service. Apparently, today's veterans do not want to be honored in any way on this particular day in May. Many have lost comrades as they served side-by-side. Others grew up without fathers who sacrificed their lives in wars and conflicts throughout the years. Some simply want to not forget those who went before them and now lie in flag-marked graves.

So as we remember and honor those who are no longer with us, let us also respect the purpose of the holiday. It's the very least we can do.

Be safe this Memorial Day weekend,


  1. I don't think anyone should take offense at your post. I think it's always good to honor those who serve our country, both living and deceased, any day of the year.

    1. However, I've had several veterans advise me otherwise. They really do not want to be acknowledged on a day that is meant to honor the fallen.


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