Congress designated May as National Military Appreciation Month in 1999 to ensure the nation was given the opportunity to publicly demonstrate their appreciation for the sacrifices and successes made by service members past and present.
Each year the President makes a proclamation, reminding Americans of the important role the U.S. Armed Forces have played in the history and development of our country.
May was selected because it has most days set aside for celebrating and commemorating the military’s achievements. The days include Loyalty Day, which was established in 1921; Victory in Europe (VE) Day, commemorating the end of WWII in Europe on May 8, 1945; Armed Forces Day, created in 1949; Military Spouse Appreciation Day, established in 1984; and, of course, the best known of the May holidays, Memorial Day.
Memorial Day is the only federal holiday in May and is celebrated on the last Monday of the month. The holiday, dating from the Civil War era, traditionally has marked recognition of those who have died in service to the nation.
Each year on Memorial Day the White House Commission on Remembrance promotes one minute of silence at 3 p.m. local time to honor the military’s fallen comrades and to pay tribute to the sacrifices by the nation’s service members and veterans.
National Military Appreciation Month started as a simple idea to gather America around its military family to honor, remember, recognize and appreciate those who have served. Subsequent formal legislation informs our service members that their country has set aside an entire month to honor, remember and appreciate them.
Date: May 1, 2014
About: Loyalty to the nation. It is a day set aside for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and to reflect on the proud heritage of our American freedom.
Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW)
Date: May 4 through May 10, 2014, Celebrated the first full week in May
About: A time set aside to honor the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county and local government employees and ensure that our government is the best in the world. The 2013 theme was “Why I Serve.”
Victory in Europe Day AKA V-E Day or VE Day
Date: May 8, 2014
About: May 8, 1945 is the day the Germans throughout Europe unconditionally surrendered to WW II Allies.
Military Spouse Appreciation Day
Date: May 9, 2014, it is traditionally set for the Friday before Mother’s Day.
About: A day to honor military spouses with appropriate ceremonies and activities. Recognizes the important role our military families play in keeping our Armed Forces strong and our country safe.
Armed Forces Day
Date: May 17, 2014, is celebrated the third Saturday in May every year.
About: A single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country. It honors everyone serving in the U.S. Military branches; Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy.
Date: May 26th, 2014, A Federal holiday observed on the last Monday in May.
About: A remembrance of our veterans that commemorates the men and women who died while in military service.
Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or email@example.com