On May 1, the VFW leads ceremonies to recognize Loyalty to America Day when all citizens are encouraged to reflect on the freedoms they have, to support democracy and to honor those who protect America. Loyalty Day began as “Americanization Day” in 1921 to counter the Communists’ May 1 celebration of the Russian Revolution. See “Contests and Scholarships” for information about Loyalty Day contests for students and adults.
Memorial Day, May 30 (traditional), is a sacred day to all war veterans. America’s collective consciousness demands that all citizens be reminded of the deaths of their fellow countrymen during wartime. By honoring the nation’s war dead, we preserve their memory and their service and sacrifice. All U.S. flags should be at half-staff in the morning hours. At noon, they should be raised to full-staff.
On July 4, 1776, the signers of the Declaration of Independence boldly asserted that all are “created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Every Fourth of July, Americans celebrate this pivotal moment in our history, which set into motion the development of a land of freedom and opportunity.
Those whom we lost September 11, 2001, will forever hold a cherished place in our hearts and 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 as “Patriot Day” to perpetuate the memory of those who perished in the attack on America, to pursue peace and justice in the world and security at home. Appropriate ceremonies and a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. EDT. Flags should be flown at half-staff.
POW/MIA Commemoration Day
POW/MIA commemoration day honors the commitments and the sacrifices made by our nation’s prisoners of war and those who are still missing in action. By custom, it is on the third Friday in September. 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.
Veterans Day is an opportunity to publicly commemorate the contributions of living veterans. Armistice Day officially received its name in America in 1926 through a congressional resolution. It became a national holiday 12 years later by similar congressional action. In 1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day.
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
Observed annually on December 7 to remember and honor all those who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. On August 23, 1994, United States Congress, by Pub.L. 103-308, designated December 7 of each year as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. It is a tradition to fly the Flag of the United States at half-staff until sunset in honor of dead patriots.