Monday, May 28, 2007

Happy Memorial Day?

An admired acquaintance, Cindy Uken, produces an eponymous website dedicated, primarily, to local politics.

Today Uken uses the space for a poem by CDR Kelly Strong, USCG (Ret), which is a nice use of her space on this special day.

I am struck, though, by Uken's use of the generic "Happy Memorial Day!"

Happy? Somehow that seems counterintuitive to the underlying somberness of the day. What, though, would be more appropriate? Certainly Sad wouldn't work. Sober? Is there a single word which encompasses the costs of Patriotism--as well as our acceptance of those costs?

The word-problem is certainly larger than the generic "Happy," which we use for virtually all holidays. It extends to such facile phrases as "War on Terror." One cannot, logically, war against terror. Terror is a tactic. One cannot bomb a tactic--an idea.

We need to practice more accuracy in our diction. Where, though, to start?

"It's Memorial Day."

"Ah. Memorial Day."

"Reflective Memorial Day."


Thank you for the poem, Cindy. Have an Appropriate Memorial Day!

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