2017-2018 National Americanism Ambassador
National Military Family Month, Veterans Day and Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
National Military Family Month
We all know Veterans Day is in November, but did you know November is also National Military Family Month? It’s an excellent opportunity to pay special attention to the families who sacrifice time with their loved ones so we many enjoy our freedoms we hold dear.
There are many ways to recognize military families, including:
- Announcing National Military Family Month at your Auxiliary meeting and recognizing any active-duty and reserve families in your Auxiliary and Post.
- Listening when they need to share a laugh or a tear.
- Asking what they need; we often assume what others need. Start asking and find out what they really need.
- Asking military families what their family members’ service means to them. (Ex.: ask a child what their parent’s service means to the child, etc.)
- Gifting them a gas station and/or grocery store gift card. Even $25 helps!
- Hosting a family game or movie night at the Post or local community center.
- Raking leaves/shoveling snow/completing minor home repairs, etc.
- Preparing a home-cooked meal and delivering it to the family.
- Giving an experience gift the entire family can enjoy. Examples include gift certificates for miniature golf outings, laser tag, trampoline parks, swimming pool passes, etc.
There are many other ways to say “thank you” to military families. Be sure to let them know the VFW Auxiliary recognizes and appreciates their sacrifice!
Veterans Day – November 11
In 1926 Congress declared November 11 as the date to celebrate the anniversary of the end of World War I. In 1938 Congress passed an act that named the day Armistice Day and made it a legal holiday.
In 1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower acknowledged there had been two other conflicts since 1926 (World War II and the Korean War), and changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day. He called upon all American citizens to observe November 11 as Veterans Day and said;
“On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain. I also direct the appropriate officials of the Government to arrange for the display of the flag of the United States on all public buildings on Veterans Day.”
Read more about the history of Veterans Day on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.
Remember – Veterans Day honors ALL veterans, both dead and living. It’s a day to honor all who have served in the military and a great opportunity to say “thank you” to all our veterans and their families.
Many Auxiliaries will participate in parades, school programs and/or host free meals for veterans at their Post. Should the need arise, there are sample speeches for Veterans Day programs behind member login under Program & Publicity Resources.
Pearl Harbor Day- December 7
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, also referred to as Pearl Harbor Day, is a holiday observed annually on December 7 in the United States of America. It is a day dedicated to honoring and remembering the 2,403 victims who were killed in the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II on December 7, 1941. Though Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is not a federal holiday, it is still a significant day in American and World War II history.
Ideas for planning a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day event include:
- Create a brochure with historical information to share with the community at events.
- Hold a service to honor those who perished in the attack.
- If you are fortunate to have a Pearl Harbor survivor in your community; invite them as a guest and ask them to share their experience. If they choose not to share, at least ask them to be your guest of honor at an event.
- Hold a parade in your community to remember that day
Remember to alert your local media (radio station, newspaper, magazine, TV station, etc.) to your patriotic events and let them know what your Post and Auxiliary have planned. Be sure to share photos from your events on social media, too!
I wish you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving. As you celebrate at home with loved ones, remember our veterans and troops deployed overseas. Thank you for all you do to assist veterans and their families, and spread patriotism across our great nation.