2016-2017 National Americanism Ambassador
Spring Patriotic Holidays
Spring has sprung…at least it has according to the calendar. It’s a great time to visit schools and explain the meaning of, and reason behind, upcoming patriotic holidays to both students and teachers.
There are often parades around these days. Who doesn’t love a parade? Passing out flags to children, riding on a Post or Auxiliary float and marching with the colors are some typical ways to participate. Take the opportunity to remind everyone about the proper Flag etiquette at parades. Download “Flag Etiquette at Parades” from the Program & Publicity Resources page of the website under “Americanism” and hand it out at parades your Auxiliary participates in this spring.
- Loyalty Day – May 1
It is a day set aside for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom. Loyalty Day originally began as “Americanization Day” in 1921 as a counter to the Communists’ May 1 celebration of the Russian Revolution. In 1958, Congress enacted Public Law 529 proclaiming Loyalty Day a permanent fixture on the nation’s calendar. Many Posts and Auxiliaries host special events and towns across the country mark the day with parades and other events.
- Armed Forces Day – Third Saturday in May (falls on May 20, 2017)
Armed Forces Day is a day to pay tribute to those who defend America’s freedoms every day. Led by the effort of President Harry S. Truman to establish a single day for Americans to thank the nation’s military members for their service to our country, Armed Forces Day was created on August 31, 1949, following the unification of the armed forces under the U.S. Department of Defense. First observed on May 20, 1950, the day was designed to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard Days, but the separate days are still observed, particularly within their respective services.
- Memorial Day – May 30 (Traditional) Observed Last Monday in May
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the Civil War.While this holiday commonly marks the unofficial beginning of summer, it is also a time for a more serious and respectful occasion.Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.
- Flag Day – June 14
Flag Day celebrates the adoption of the flag the official symbol for the United States: our Stars and Stripes. This day was first recognized by Congress on June 14, 1777, which became known as Flag Day. Congress first stated that there should be a star and stripe for every state. Our first flag had 13 stars, and 7 red and 6 white stripes. In 1794, two new states were added and we had a flag with 15 stars and 15 stripes. By 1818 there were 20 states, but our county was still using the flag with 15 stars and 15 stripes. Congress thought about having 20 stripes and agreed that it might become a problem because of its size so they passed a law that said there would be 13 stripes for the original 13 states, and they would add a star for each new state that joined the union. The U.S. flag has 13 stripes: seven red and six white. A blue field with 50 stars is located next to the staff in the upper left corner of the flag. The stars do not represent any given state. The colors used in the flag give special meaning to the flag: Red for valor and zeal; white for hope and cleanliness of life; and blue — the color of heaven — for reverence and loyalty.
REPORT! REPORT! REPORT! Please send me your final reports by April 20 so that I can do my judging for awards!
I’m sure each of you promoted Americanism and patriotism in your Auxiliary. I can’t stress how important it is to report your hard work, not only for this program, but for all our programs. A reminder to the Department Chairman: To be eligible for awards, I must have a minimum of four promotions.
Thank you for all you do for our veterans!