Today is Memorial Day, not Veterans Day.

All across social media and elsewhere, I see well-meaning declarations thanking members of the military for their service. As full of good intentions as these statements are, they are still troubling.

When you thank the living on the day meant to honor the dead, it’s a little bit awkward for everyone involved.

I am not a veteran, so I can’t speak for what it’s like for them (not even the one I’m married to), but this day feels like one of reflection. One is likely mourning ones’s lost colleagues, possibly contemplating that the smallest change in circumstances could have led to one’s own demise.

To be thanked for service in this context seems uncomfortable, to put it mildly.

So today, let’s remember those who gave their lives.