José A. Morales
In recent years, a number of veterans of the armed forces in the United States have been confronted with a small, albeit important, dilemma. Well-meaning Americans often desire to wish veterans a “Happy Memorial Day.”
I would like to take a small moment of your day on this Memorial Day weekend to go over a few things. Word meaning is often overlooked in how we communicate things with each other. The word memorial, according to the New Oxford Dictionary, is defined as: “something designed to preserve the memory of a person, event, etc., as a monument or a holiday.” Now, let’s be clear. I am not an expert in the English language. In fact, it’s not even my native tongue. Though I am both a veteran and a U.S. citizen, the intricacies of the naming conventions Americans pursue for our holidays tend to elude me. Especially when those names clearly invoke certain feelings.
Memorial Day is not a barbecue event.
Nor is it an event that evokes any sort of “happiness.”
It is the remembrance of the soldiers whose bodies paved a very literal road to our...more