Congress established Military Appreciation Month in 1999. Since its inauguration May has served as the honorary month that marks an opportunity to give thanks to our troops. There are many ways the community can show their support this May.
Schools, independent organizations and local communities celebrate the month of appreciation. Raise awareness with personalized military gifts, and thank our veterans and active military personal.
Loyalty Day is on May 1st
The first day of appreciation is Loyalty Day, created for Americans to celebrate their pride and pledge toward their country.
Loyalty Day is a great holiday to celebrate in schools and can be used to teach students about the country, including about its history.
Schools - If students have recently completed an American history unit, consider holding a fun history game for prizes. Set students up in teams arrange a ‘Jeopardy’ style game arranged in different categories about U.S. history. Give them an incentive to brush up on their knowledge prior to the game by awarding a prize to the winning team, such as a customized, patriotic water bottle.
Community - Hold a patriotic parade to mark both Loyalty Day and the start of Military Appreciation month. Ask different community groups and businesses to participate with a float or performance during the parade. An event like this is likely to raise more awareness and increase participation in military appreciation activities. Have all participants wear some type of unifying apparel, such as customized baseball caps.
Public Service Recognition Week is During the 2nd Week in May
Public Service Recognition Week represents exactly what’s conveyed in the name: public service. Engage in activities that encourage children and adults of all ages to give back to the community and country that has given much to them.
Schools - Student volunteering groups can take this holiday by storm. Have your students split the week up in to a few different volunteering opportunities for other students and faculty in the school. For example, one day of the week can be designated for a veteran’s home or nursing home visit. Another day can be concentrated toward helping fellow classmates. Hold an open tutoring night at the school, where students can get help for various subjects they may struggle with.
Community - Hold a community-wide public service day. Have participants register beforehand, and create groups of people to volunteer at various institutions in the community. For example, send one group to work at a food pantry, while another group can assist at a nearby Goodwill shop. Customize the Black Ox Finish Die Struck Pin - Ribbon for all participants’ shirts to show your community’s large, collective effort to spread the value of public service.
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Memorial Day is on the Last Monday in May
Memorial Day is a long-standing national holiday but is often seen as extra time off work and a great day to get discounts at your favorite department stores. If you’re with an organization that wants to revive the meaning of Memorial Day, here are some creative ideas to get you started:
Hold a vigil. Advertise and hold a vigil for the community to attend. Provide something, such as a pinwheel or candle, which represents a loved one who belonged to the armed forces. You can either sell these or give them for free to people who attend the vigil. This type of event exists to purely raise awareness for all the military does for our country on a daily basis.
Hold a breakfast or luncheon. Show your appreciation for people who served or continue to serve in the armed forces by inviting them to a complimentary breakfast or luncheon. Make the event fancy with formal attire. Invite the town mayor or a local ‘celebrity’ to speak on the subject of military appreciation. At the end of the event, give each person a simple token of your appreciation. Leather items, such as personalized bags, always fit as great gifts no matter the occasion.
You can get a small school or an entire community involved in appreciating our military with a little spark of creativity and hard work. Show your community to appreciate their safety and freedom by recognizing Military Appreciation Month in a unique way.