Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of the summer season. When everyone breaks out the flip-flops, heads to the beach, and just has a great time celebrating the start of another summer season.

With that said, it's also a weekend of remembrance. A time when we honor and remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice so we can have the freedoms we do today in the United States.

Over the years, however, Memorial Day weekend has become more of a celebration than anything. This, of course, is where the "happy" in Memorial Day weekend comes in.

I personally don't like the phrase Happy Memorial Day. I just don't feel it's the appropriate thing to say, especially on the holiday itself.

Instead, I look for alternatives to describe the start of the summer season. Happy kick-off to summer might be one of them since that does describe the mood of the barbecues and festivities this weekend.


But saying Memorial Day should never, in my opinion, should be followed after the word happy. It just doesn't feel right when we're supposed to be honoring those who couldn't be here with us today to celebrate the freedoms they fought for us to have.

Heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice are the reasons we could have happy celebrations, and it's important for everyone to recognize that. Especially on the Monday of the long Memorial Day weekend.

With that said, you're sure to come across some that will say Happy Memorial Day all weekend long. And although it might not sit right for some of us, we shouldn't get mad at them for saying it.


When most people say Happy Memorial Day, they aren't trying to come across as disrespectful. They're just expressing their happiness at the unofficial arrival of the summer season.

And what's not to be happy about when it comes to celebrating our freedom in conjunction with the summer kick-off? It's something we should be proud of as there are many places in the world that aren't as fortunate as us.

This is why we shouldn't be too upset when people say happy in front of Memorial Day. Those folks are just looking forward to having a great holiday weekend, which we should all be thankful to have in this country.

But we must always remember. If it wasn't for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, we wouldn't be able to celebrate the way we do today.

American Flags
American Flags (MivPiv)

And most of us understand no harm is meant when someone says happy, so we shouldn't get too upset when they say it. But if it does upset you, it's completely understandable.

We should be happy that we actually can have barbecues all weekend long, no question there. And those who fought for those freedoms would want us to celebrate as well. That's what they fought for.

With that said, it's also important we take a moment to remember those who gave everything they had to protect our freedoms. We all need to put into perspective that we wouldn't be able to celebrate in this great country if it weren't for those brave men and women.

Silhouette of veteran US Army Colonel Chaplain wearing hat and saluting with an American flag flying behind him.

As mentioned earlier, most of us know it's not coming from a bad or disrespectful place, and they shouldn't be faulted for it. But if you do happen to notice someone's having a hard time with that phrase, please be respectful in understanding why and try to refrain from saying it.

Memorial Day itself is a solemn day and calling the actual day happy might come across as insensitive. So it's important to keep that in mind, especially on the actual holiday itself.

With that said, let's all have a great time this weekend with friends and family while also taking a moment to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice heroically fighting for the freedoms you and I have today. And if you do use the word happy, we know you mean no disrespect by it.


Places in New Jersey where you can now carry a legal gun

New Jersey passed its own law in December, trying to ban legal guns from “sensitive places.” 

A federal judge has found many of those spots to be legally protected on the grounds of armed self-defense, noting in her opinion, “Crowded locations are not sensitive places."

Here's the latest on what is legally allowed.

7 things you had no idea were invented in NJ

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM