A month of recognition for our military personnel and their families, leading up to Memorial Day, which honors those who paid with the ultimate sacrifice.
You may know of some of them, but May is filled with holidays that honor the U.S. military. If you’re looking for ideas on how to pay respects during this year’s Military Appreciation Month, observing a few more holidays is a simple yet effective means of doing so.
May 1: Loyalty Day – Loyalty Day is as simple as it sounds: a day set aside for U.S. citizens to reaffirm their loyalty to their country and to remember their heritage. It was started in 1921 and a few communities still celebrate with parades and other ceremonies. It is a legal holiday, but not federal in nature.
May 7 – May 13: Public Service Recognition Week – Traditionally celebrated during the first full week of May, Public Service Recognition Week honors the individuals who serve as federal, state, country, and local government employees. It is not commonly celebrated, but it is sometimes used to educate the public about the contribution of government workers.
May 8: Victory in Europe Day – The unconditional surrender of Germany in World War II came on May 8th, 1945. Sweeping celebrations seized Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York City.
May 12: Military Spouse Appreciation Day – Celebrated the Friday before Mother’s Day, Military Spouse Appreciation Day celebrates the sacrifice and support of military spouses. The holiday began in 1984 under Ronald Reagan, and subsequent presidents have begun the day with speeches or proclamations.
May 20: Armed Forces Day – Celebrated on the third Saturday of every May, Armed Forces Day honors Americans serving in the military. It was originally designed to replace the days celebrating each individual service, but those days are still observed. The longest running celebration sponsored by a city is held in Bremerton, Washington. 2012 marked its 64th celebration with a parade.
May 30: Memorial Day – Landing on the final Monday of May, Memorial Day is the most widely recognized holiday out of the May military-themed observances. It began after the Civil War to remember the soldiers who fell on both sides during the war, but grew to commemorate all Americans who died serving in the military.