There are many different days and events in support and appreciation of the U.S. military. However, did you know that this year, May has been designated National Military Appreciation Month? It is a time for us to thank, appreciate and support the military, both past and present, and educate each other on the incredible job that they do for us.
National Military Appreciation Month started out life in 1999, when legislation from the U.S. Senate (supported by Senator John McCain, Representative Duncan Hunter, and others) said that May should be a month for honoring, remembering and appreciating the patriotism of members of the armed forces. They also wanted to laud the dedication from their families. This idea was solidified ten years ago in April 2004, with unanimous agreement from both Houses of Congress. At this point it was suggested that the President should issue annual statements, reminding the American public to support the military throughout the month.
Although most of America’s incredible history involved the military in one way or another, children in school nowadays aren’t learning anywhere near enough about the importance of key events such as Pearl Harbor or the Civil War. This means that they are not as aware of how crucial the U.S. military has been in shaping our country. Consequently, they do not really appreciate it. That is why, during the month of May, National Military Appreciation Month is combined with American Military History Month. The aim is to encourage schools to incorporate more American history into lessons, to educate the future generations, and to educate ourselves.May is an important month in the appreciation of the U.S. military, as it includes five national days of celebration. These are Loyalty Day on the 1st, VE Day on the 8th, Military Spouse Appreciation Day a day later on the 9th, followed by Armed Forces Day on the 17th, and finally Memorial Day on the 26th. These serve as useful prompts to remind us of how we should be thanking our troops throughout the whole month.
Whether organised by the government, the state, local politicians or private organisations, there are loads of activities going on throughout the month of May in honor of the sacrifices that our troops make. From parades to celebration lunches to airshows, there are events taking place around the country. These events not only highlight the magnificent work that the military does, but also give us a chance to give thanks.
Since the U.S. military was founded hundreds of years ago, nearly 100 million American citizens have either served (or are currently serving), given their lives, or had a close family member in the military. Now is your chance to celebrate them and the work that they do to keep our country safe. You are encouraged to do whatever you can to get involved in National Military Appreciation Month, which is now in its 15th year – it does not even have to be anything major like attending an organized event. Fly your flag, ask your local media to cover events in your area, send a care package, or even just thank a person in uniform for their service. Our troops deserve every token of appreciation that they receive!