I find "Happy Memorial Day" an inappropriate greeting for a day of remembrance and memory.

Are there any better alternatives I can use in for a formal email?

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    It’s an interesting question. Nobody really references this holiday in greeting. A regular everyday greeting is used. Possibly followed up with, “You doin’ anything special for Memorial Day?” – Jim May 28 '17 at 20:23
  • “Honor Memorial Day” is apparently used by some people, although it sounds more like an order to me. allenbwest.com/allen/proper-greeting-memorial-day – Řídící May 28 '17 at 20:29
  • @Keepthesemind - I agree. It does sound like a command. But so is, “Have a nice day.” I’ve never heard it either. – Jim May 28 '17 at 23:13
  • By the same reasoning of its usually being remembered as a sombre occasion, I often wondered if 'Happy Easter' was the best form of greeting. Recently I looked it up online and found that this greeting is appropriate because Easter is a celebration of the Resurrection. – English Student May 29 '17 at 1:13
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    There are times that a respectful nod of the head communicates better than words. – Lawrence May 29 '17 at 6:39

I might be able to give you a better answer if I knew who the recipient of this email was, but I was told by a veteran that he'd rather hear "How is your Memorial Day?", "How is your Memorial Day going?", "Are you having a good day today?" or simply "Hello" as he also doesn't find anything happy about remembering his fallen comrades.


I just wrote an email this evening which was a formal response to a college administrator, and here's how I solved this dilemma:

I hope you had a good Memorial Day weekend.

"Good" can be defined by the reader for him or herself.

"Weekend" could be omitted.

If you're at the beginning, or in the middle, of the long weekend, you could say

I hope you have a good Memorial Day weekend.


Happy is definitely not the way to go. How about:

"Have a "solemn" memorial day" ???


Posting this as a civilian....

With Memorial Day being a time to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country, 'Thank you for your service' seems the most appropriate greeting on Memorial or Veterans Day, and only to members of the military.

Apart from that, expressions of compassion as mentioned in earlier posts, which show that you care even if you can never fully understand what veterans have experienced and continue to relive.


Maybe just saying:

  • Have a blessed Memorial Day.
  • May you have peace on this Memorial Day.
  • May you have peace of mind during this Memorial Day.

But "Happy Memorial Day" does not sound right.

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    Usually when I give someone "a piece of my mind" they are less than happy. – Cascabel May 29 '17 at 1:50
  • @lirmont On Stack Exchange, we have something called “Markdown”, which is like HTML (markup) but more economical (it uses fewer characters). See my edit of your edit. – Scott May 29 '17 at 6:50

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