Stephen Doherty
2022-2023 National Americanism Ambassador & Patriotic Instructor

VFWA Headshots 2022

Patriot Day is a holiday observed on September 11 to commemorate the lives of those who died in the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Virginia and those who perished when hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania. The day also recognizes those who died attempting to rescue people trapped by the attacks. Americans are asked to honor the dead with a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. EST, commemorating when the first airplane struck the World Trade Center.

The Auxiliary’s 10th Celebrating America’s Freedom Event (CAFE) will be held at the Flight 93 National Memorial, September 10, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania/Somerset County. Visit Events through your MALTA login.

POW/MIA Recognition Day is held on the third Friday of every September.

You Are Not Forgotten is the central phrase behind the POW/MIA remembrance movement that honors America’s prisoners of war, those who are still missing in action and their families.

The point of POW/MIA Recognition Day is to ensure that America remembers to stand behind those who serve and to make sure we do everything we can to account for those who have never returned. Some ideas for members:

  • Host a POW/MIA Remembrance Ceremony at a sporting event or Auxiliary meeting.
  • Ask local Scouts to participate in the ceremony.
  • Honor the POW/MIA with a candlelight vigil, luminary walk or Flag-folding service.

Gold Star Mother’s & Family’s Day is observed in the United States on the last Sunday of September. It is a day for people to recognize and honor those who have lost a son or daughter while serving the U.S. Armed Forces in a war zone.

Each year on Gold Star Mother’s & Family’s Day, the U.S. President calls on all Americans to display the nation’s Flag and hold appropriate meetings to publicly express their love, sorrow and reverence to Gold Star Mothers and their families.

  • Host a Gold Star Mother’s & Family’s Day event with a cookout or dinner.

Recognizing our other Stars:

  • A Blue star represents a family member in active-duty service.
  • The Silver star represents a family member wounded or injured in a war zone.
  • And a White star represents those who have had a close relative who served in the military and later lost them to suicide.

As members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary, we ask you to remember the sacrifices of these families as their loved ones gave their “last full measure of devotion” to preserve the ideals of a free America.


Digital Connections

For more than 100 years, we have carried forward Auxiliary traditions Today, we persevere by navigating new technology and using social media platforms to promote the Americanism Program. Last year’s Americanism Ambassador initiated the first-ever Auxiliary hashtag to promote patriotism as a next-level tool to continuously connect with our communities. Whether you are capturing patriotic unity or Auxiliary traditions in action, tag the activity and/or event using the hashtag #AuxiliaryPatriotism. Record these moments by posting them to social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Are you celebrating a patriotic holiday, recognizing Gold Star, Blue Star and Silver Star families, teaching Flag education at local schools or honoring POW/MIA in your community? Show your patriotic pride by using the hashtag. In the first six months there were more than 2,500 hits and counting. Let’s continue this year with #AuxiliaryPatriotism and watch it grow in our communities.


Here are some ideas when tagging #AuxiliaryPatriotism:

  • Lead a United States Flag-raising ceremony at a local business or sporting event.
  • Participate in a community patriotic holiday parade. Ask Auxiliary members or youth groups to get involved and help hand out Flags or decorate a float, if applicable.

Host a recognition experience of Auxiliary Programs (e.g., patriotic holiday ceremonies, Patriotic Art Contest participants, hospital volunteers, legislative activities sponsoring veterans, “Buddy”® Poppy drives, or veterans and military caregivers or mentors.) Capture the art of Auxiliary traditions represented in these events.