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Old 05-29-2013, 01:16 PM
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 24,905,426 times
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Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
Vets, how do you feel or react when people say "Happy Memorial Day"?
Nothing happy about it, is there?

23-yr vet, a few tours in war zones. I don't consider Memorial Day a day for living veterans but to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. So, not happy -rather more solemn remembrance for me -
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:49 PM
Location: NY
9,010 posts, read 14,219,852 times
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I always thought my father (former USAF) handled it best. He would politely tell people memorial day isn't for honoring him, but is for honoring all the soldiers we can no longer give our best wishes to.
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:09 PM
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 30,359,613 times
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Originally Posted by Ted Bear View Post
Splitting the thought......

People live a very shallow existance in the modern world. They don't think about half of the things which they say and do. There is nothing provocatively thoughtful about thier words or actions. To their simple existanve, "Happy Memorial Day' is no different than Happy Easter or Happy Thanksgiving. They don't give measure to the event...just the fact that it is a day off from work (to go shopping).

I am Viet Nam vet. My era was looked upon as the most vile human beings possible. Anyone who served their country during that period was shouted at, spit on, assaulted, demonstrated against and burned in effigy. Out specific instructions were to NOT wear the unifrom when we went out into the civilian world.

"Happy Memorial Day", however illogocal, sounds a lot better to me.
Yeah! Our era was treated badly but that was what, 40 or so years ago? Times change as do people with them.

My intention to enlist during Vietnam was not to receive accolades or recognition of any kind. It was to serve which was a personal desire as well as a family tradition. So I accomplished my goal and actually pitied the clueless who railed and rallied against us. I also moved on with my life.
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:37 PM
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I think a lot of people confuse Memorial Day with Veterans Day. Memorial Day used to mean a time to honor those who died serving their country. Now it seems to be all about where to go for your 3-day weekend and what to take to the barbecue.
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:53 PM
Location: Denver, CO
8,605 posts, read 5,123,928 times
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Default Old farts!!

Well, there appears to be a lot of us old farts on the military thread. I, too, was a Viet Nam vet. I only wear my hat stating such in May and November, but I've never had anyone say "Happy Memorial Day." It's most often, "Thank you, for your service."

A far cry from what I heard 1965-69.

Semper Fi
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:42 PM
Location: Kansas
19,189 posts, read 14,091,698 times
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I made a friend online that lived in England and she wished me a "Happy Memorial Day" once and asked if that would be correct and I explained to her what the day met. She was however not an American. But, seriously, isn't every holiday/day off just a reason for a white sale, party or gifts in the US? I don't think 1/2 the people anymore have a clue why the days are given off in the first place.
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Old 05-29-2013, 04:03 PM
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,874 posts, read 12,936,498 times
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I thank TracySam for this topic, as it's something that has occurred to me multiple times. I once asked the question of man I worked with, who was a helicopter gunner in Vietnam (and is now deceased due to illnesses likely caused by his repeated contact with Agent Orange). He replied, "I served my country to protect our freedoms, among them the freedom to have a party, so I don't really have a problem with Memorial Day being seen as a holiday." His answer surprised me and, while I don't expect all vets to agree, I was touched by Alan's reply as it was very much in keeping with his personality.

One of the times I visited England, I happened to be there the week that they mark Remembrance Sunday, which is their version of Memorial Day. Now THAT is a very solemn occasion. It came to my attention the minute I deplaned, as everyone in Heathrow Airport was wearing a paper poppy on their lapels. I asked about it and was told they are sold to raise money for veterans' hospitals and worn the week prior to that Sunday in November. Obviously the GBP (Great British Public) takes the annual purchase of them very seriously as people of every age, in the streets, in my hotel, and even the news readers on TV wore them. I was approached to buy one by a volunteer outside the British Museum and, of course, I did and wore it as suggested.

Since this was on my mind, I decided to attend the memorial event and I'm very glad I did. The Brits really know how to put on a patriotic event and this one is exceptionally moving. Every church has a memorial service and at 11 a.m. the entire country marks two minutes of silence, followed by the ringing of all church bells half-muffled, which sets a somber tone. Then all the adults of the royal family, wearing mourning attire, emerge from Buckingham Palace and are driven in a procession of black cars to the Centotaph on Whitehall Road (the nation's official war memorial). Along the route the public is gathered and they clap politely as the royal family goes by but there is no cheering or waving, as usual. The royals lay wreaths for the various services, bow their heads in prayer, and then leave. Afterwards, in London, there is a miles-long procession of any members of any service who want to walk along a parade route (the elderly are driven) but no music save that provided by the marchers, no fanfare. Although I have to say there is a lot of cheering from the crowd as the vets pass (especially for the folks who march in groups with their regimental banners).

I think Europeans, who live in cities and towns where war after war was fought throughout the nations' long histories, have a very different attitude toward the armed forces than we do in the U.S. While we have millions of people who serve our country in the military, the wars themselves rarely raged on our soil and many families living now have never had any veterans, or at least none they actually knew. It's not that way in Europe. It's like an entire continent of those Civil War battlefield towns where war is still very much alive. Every town has war memorials from many wars. Every church has multiple displays dedicated to the war dead. You can still walk around many places on the continent and still see bullet holes in buildings dating back to one war or another. A huge number of Americans never experience things like that, so their sensitivity to our veterans can be tenuous.
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Old 05-29-2013, 04:42 PM
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,153 posts, read 38,939,742 times
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Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
Do you Veterans get offended or at least annoyed when people say "Happy Memorial Day"?
No, I do not get offended...

This is a free country.

It's not illegal to be ignorant.

This nation will remain the land of the free as long as we have Veterans...

Last edited by Poncho_NM; 05-25-2015 at 08:14 AM..
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:36 PM
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I never suggested that it should be illegal! (to say "Happy Memorial Day" or to be an idiot)
I believe in the freedom and rights our service members fought for.
I can be annoyed with, even hate, what a person says without believing it should be against the law.
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:59 PM
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
6,571 posts, read 17,972,121 times
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Have my WW11 and Korea cap that I will wear occasionally (mainly to the VA Hospital) for any need.

Will maybe get a friendly smile or nod from a fellow Vet and at one point got a Sharp Salute from a young male with a Military hair cut while eating at a fast food place with a Korea era Vet.

Do I look for acalades?......Nope.....we did our service when asked too......that's enough for me.
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