What Is Military Appreciation Month?
Military Appreciation Month, which traditionally takes place throughout the entire month of May, was initially recognized by a resolution in the U.S. Senate in 1999. The purpose behind devoting an entire month to our military is to remind Americans to celebrate the men and women who have served in the military and pay tribute to those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom. Although the entire month is devoted to military appreciation, there are also some specific days related to celebrating our military, including:
- Loyalty Day. Celebrated on May 1st, Loyalty Day has been officially designated by Congress as “a special day for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom”.
- VE Day. May 8th is VE Day, the day that marked the end of a long, deadly war. VE Day, short for “Victory in Europe Day,” celebrates the end of World War II on the European front.
- Military Spouse Appreciation Day. Military Spouse Appreciation Day takes place on the Friday before Mother’s Day and honors the military spouses who sacrifice so much in support of their service member’s mission.
- Mother’s Day. Military mothers deserve special acknowledgement and should be remembered on Mother’s Day for the sacrifices they make every day.
- Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day. Celebrated on the third Saturday in May, Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day is the day Americans celebrate their military forces. Memorial Day celebrates those military members who died during war while Armed Forces Day is the proper day to honor both the men and women currently serving, as well as those who have previously served and sacrificed to defend our freedom.
How Can I Participate in Military Appreciation Month?
There are numerous ways you can get involved in Military Appreciation Month, and the best thing about it is that you have an entire month to do so! Some suggestions for participating in Military Appreciation Month include:
- Offer a discount for veterans if you own a business.
- Donate a vehicle you no longer need to Vehicles for Veterans.
- Spend Memorial Day doing something in honor of veterans.
- Reach out to the family of a deployed veteran and ask what you can do to help.
- Volunteer for a veteran’s charity or group.
- Acknowledge a local veteran.
- Reach out to a veteran by sending a letter, email, or video.
- Contact the North Dakota Department of Veteran Affairs to find out how you can help.
Although we should all show our appreciation for those who have served or are serving in the military on a daily basis, Military Appreciation Month offers us an organized month-long celebration, making it easier to let veterans know how much their service and sacrifice means to all of us.
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