DEAR MISS MANNERS: We think "Happy Memorial Day" welcoming that the news and stimulation media have foisted upon general society. In any case, I don't realize what is really satisfactory to use in its place. Are there better types of welcome for more serious events?
Delicate READER: While the reality of the matter is that such developments are utilized as welcome, you will see that they are in reality great wishes. So Miss Manners concurs that they appear to be bumping on grave events.
For instance, one would not wish anybody a glad Yom Kippur; the correct wish is for a simple quick. In any case, in the same way as "Happy Christmas," that is a compassionately trust for another comfort in the previous case and happiness in the last mentioned. But Happy Memorial Day, we should think about this.
How might you wish individuals to feel on Memorial Day? Deferential, probably, and maybe scrutinizing. However, to educate them to do as such would be audacious. You wouldn't wish them well however requesting them to carry on legitimately, which is inconsiderately meddlesome as well as annoying, as it infers that they are not as of now doing as such.
It is pointless, and now and then rash, to issue occasion particular wishes to individuals whose conditions you don't have the foggiest idea. Individuals who do this intend to spread cheer, however that is not the consequence of, for instance, getting out "Upbeat Father's Day!" to somebody whose kid is expired. That is why Happy Memorial Day Is Not The Appropriate Wish – Miss Manners.
In any case, it is additionally an error to take ordinary expressions at their surface esteem. Miss Manners bolstered you on the Memorial Day matter, however kindly don't squeeze her about each such comment. It is truly monotonous when individuals grumble that everybody who says "How would you do?" doesn't need a therapeutic report, and the individuals who start letters with "Dear" don't hold them especially dear.
Why do people say "Happy Memorial Day"?
As for why people say “Happy”, I think it is just that American culture doesn’t do well with deeper emotions like “Somber” or “Meaningful”. We just simply don’t know how to have a meaningful holiday without imbuing it with bikinis and mattress sales.
It seems to me you're simply equating "happiness" with cheerfulness and lightheartedness. Now, I can only speak for my own native speaker intuition of the language, but it's never meant quite that to me. I see no contradiction between happy and being somber, even sad to a certain degree. There's even a word for the latter state of affairs: bittersweet.
While one can wake up one day in a suddenly cheerful and positive mood, one can't have a suddenly "happy" mood. One can change their attitude or their outlook to be more positive, nobody can voluntarily make themselves "happy." You're happy or you're not. At least as far as the adjective is applied to impersonal things like days or years, it doesn't seem to mean anything more than "good." Often, but not always, a happy day is simply another way of saying a good or peaceful day, a day when bad things don't happen. An unhappy person, circumstance, life is a poor or unfortunate person, circumstance, life.
I think this expression is an indicator of the way most (not all) American's experience the day. For many, the day is marked by a vacation from work, a barbecue with friends, and some discount sales at the local store. These markings highlight what Americans value most -- leisure, friendship, and consumerism. And thus, it's a happy day. Strange. You'd think the day dedicated to people who lost their lives so that we could have ours would get something more sentimental than a day off to shop a sale.
Turns out some Americans have a very different experience on this day. They visit the grave of a loved one, perhaps a family member, who lost their life in military service. They march or attend a parade honoring veterans, and remember those who are not marching. They raise a flag or pin a ribbon. For them, it is a somber day to reflect on the meaning of self-sacrifice for the collective good of the nation (in some cases, the world). Happy in the sense that the nation does something to remember. Happy to see those people they see every year on this day, as we mark the beginning of the warmer months and summer vacations from school. Happy elements to a day that is not about celebrating happiness, but honoring service.