2019-2020 National Americanism Ambassador
Americanism: Loyalty, Commitment and Education
Ronald Reagan wrote, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
We must be ready and willing to teach and promote patriotism. The nation needs us to step up and be leaders in teaching not only our youth, but also adults, on how to be a true patriot.
One way to promote patriotism is by celebrating patriotic holidays. This is a perfect way to develop a stronger relationship with your local schools, government and civic organizations in your community.
There are numerous patriotic holidays in September, including:
- Patriot Day – September 11
- Have a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. (EST) at your local school. Explain the reason for the moment of silence.
- Educate youth with a Flag Raising Ceremony; remember to explain why the Flag is flown at half-staff on Patriot Day.
- POW/MIA Recognition Day – Third Friday in September (This year it’s September 20)
- Recognize through observance, ceremony, and/or commemoration.
- Increase community awareness by handing our POW/MIA flags at your local grocery store, Walmart, hardware store, etc.
- Host a POW/MIA Remembrance Ceremony at a youth sporting event.
- Record a video explaining what each piece of the Missing Man table means and signifies.
- Ask the local kids club, young Marines, Sea Cadets, etc. to participate in the ceremony.
- Ask a local restaurant if you can set up a Missing Man table during the week of September 15-21 or on POW/MIA Recognition Day.
- Gold Star Mother’s & Family’s Day – Last Sunday in September (This year it’s September 29)
- Invite all Gold Star mothers and families to a luncheon at the Post, or host a picnic at a local park. Make it a fun event! Have music, yard games and activities for the kids.
- Recognize the Gold Star mothers and families with an honorary or symbolic personalized keepsake.
Don’t forget to take pictures and share your Auxiliary’s events on social media!
While you are at your local schools, keep an eye out for “THAT” teacher. The VFW’s Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award recognizes the nation’s top certified/licensed elementary, junior high and high school teachers who teach citizenship education topics regularly and promote America’s history and traditions effectively. Teachers who are prime candidates for this award promote civic responsibility, Flag etiquette and patriotism.
Examples of Activities from Award-Winning Teachers
- Field trips to city hall
- Community volunteer projects
- Hosting veterans to discuss their military experiences
- Special projects that foster the development of democratic values and beliefs
How to find “THAT” teacher
- Talk with Principles of your local school
- Talk to your kids, their friends, and other school students
- Read articles about teachers in your area
- Google teachers in your area
While you are out in the community, be sure to take pictures and videos of your encounters. This will help your Auxiliary with its video that promotes patriotism and involves the community. You can edit clips from different videos taken all year long to make one good 1:30 second video. Your Auxiliary could win a citation and $50 dollars if you have the most outstanding video in the nation.
Making a Video
It may seem scary, but it’s nothing to be scared of. There are plenty of apps that can help you make a video. This is also a good time to involve younger members who can maneuver the internet faster and may already have the knowledge of how these apps work.
Some Free Apps that can help you make a video:
- Video Maker with Music Editor
- SlideShow Maker Photo to Video
- Make Movies with Video Clips & more
- Facebook Live
SWAP – Share Wonderful Auxiliary Projects
Having trouble uploading videos? Don’t know where to start?
Take a look what Kelli T. Lee, Americanism Chairperson from the Department of California, created: an instruction sheet on how to upload videos to YouTube from different devices you may have. Download her step-by-step instructions.
Throughout the history of the United States of America, our citizens have laid down their lives for our freedom, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Thank you for always taking care of our veterans, and thank you for teaching our nation’s youth and adults the traditions of America.