2017-2018 National Americanism Ambassador
Americanism: September’s Patriotic Days
September has four patriotic days for us to observe. I encourage you to become familiar with each of the days listed below and educate others about the importance of each day.
For a list of our nation’s Patriotic Days and information about them, please visit the National Organization’s website and download “Our Nation’s Patriotic Days.” This information is great to have available at recruiting booths, county/state fairs and during “Buddy”® Poppy drives.
Patriot Day – September 11
Patriot Day, also known as the National Day of Service and Remembrance, occurs on September 11 each year in memory of those killed during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Those we lost on September 11, 2001, will forever hold a cherished place in our hearts in the history of our nation. By a joint resolution approved December 18, 2001 (Public Law 107-89), Congress authorized the President to designate September 11 each year as “Patriot Day” to perpetuate the memory of those who perished in the attack on America, and to pursue peace and justice in the world and security at home. Appropriate ceremonies and activities include a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. EDT, remembrance services and candlelight vigils. Flags should be flown at half-staff on Patriot Day.
POW/MIA Recognition Day – Third Friday in September
POW/MIA Recognition Day is September 15, 2017. POW/MIA Recognition Day honors the commitments and the sacrifices made by our nation’s prisoners of war and those who are still missing in action. National POW/MIA Recognition Day is one of the six days specified by law on which the black POW/MIA flag shall be flown over federal facilities and cemeteries, post offices and military installations. Plan ahead and check with your local facilities to make sure they have a POW/MIA flag and if not, it would be a great time to make a formal presentation of the flag to the facility. POW/MIA – YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN.
Constitution Day and Citizenship Day – September 17
This day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787, by 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention. This document established the framework of our government and the rights and freedoms that “We the People” enjoy today.
In 1940, Congress designated the third Sunday in May as “I am an American Day.” In 1944, “ I am an American Day” was promoted by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. On February 29, 1952, Congress moved “I am an American Day” observation to September 17 and renamed it “Citizenship Day.” In 2004, Congress renamed the holiday “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.”
Gold Star Mother’s/Family’s Day – Last Sunday in September
Gold Star Mothers and Family’s Day is September 24, 2017. Gold Star Mother’s/Family’s Day honors mothers and families who have lost a service member in in the line of duty or in support of military activities. The name comes from the custom of families hanging Service Flags in the window of their homes. The Service Flag has a star for each family member in the armed forces.
- A blue star represents a family member in active service.
- A silver star represents a family member wounded or injured in a war zone.
- A gold star represents a family member killed during active-duty and stands for sacrifice made for honor and freedom.
The American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. was founded shortly after World War 1 by Grace Darling Seibold, who lost her son, George Vaughn Seibold, during the war. Gold Star Mothers are often socially active, but are non-political. Gold Star Mother’s Day was designated by Congress on June 23, 1936. In September 2012, President Barack Obama rededicated the last Sunday in September as “Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day.”
God Bless America!