According to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Loyalty Day originally began as “Americanization Day” in 1921 as a counter to the Communists’ May 1 celebration of the Russian Revolution. On May 1, 1930, 10,000 VFW members staged a rally at New York’s Union Square to promote patriotism. Through a resolution adopted in 1949, May 1st evolved into Loyalty Day. Observances began in 1950 on April 28 and climaxed May 1 when more than five million people across the nation held rallies. In New York City, more than 100,000 people rallied for America. In 1958 Congress enacted Public Law 529 proclaiming Loyalty Day a permanent fixture on the nation’s calendar.
The VFW Auxiliary has stated that, “We realize that our freedom is truly unique, and that is why we take pride in it. Woodrow Wilson once said:
“America was established not to create wealth but to realize a vision, to realize an ideal – to discover and maintain liberty among men.”
America was built on that ideal, and we have maintained it for over two centuries!
This land is “the land of the free” because of the many freedoms we enjoy … the freedom of religion … of speech … of assembly … but what it all comes down to is that we have the freedom of choice.
We have the choice to receive higher education or to begin a career. We have the choice to adopt two children or bear ten children. We have the choice to rally for another form of government or to demonstrate our pride in a democratic nation.
We should beware of taking our freedom for granted. Others fear what our country has … what our country is … and that is why they want to destroy it. We must cherish our freedom; we must protect it.
America has survived many trials … the Civil War … the Depression … Hitler … and we will survive terrorism. Why? Because we care about our freedom. We care about protecting our country. The very freedom that allows us to question our form of government is the same freedom that makes our nation strong.
So, be proud of your freedom. Be proud of your county. Don’t be afraid to scream, “I’m proud to be an American!”
The purpose of Loyalty Day is to demonstrate our patriotism … our support for our unique tradition of freedom. Showing our pride in America can be done on more than just Loyalty Day or the 4th of July … we can demonstrate our loyalty throughout the year by helping our country be the best that it can be.
We can do this by teaching our youth about what it means to be an American … taking care of our veterans, who have protected our freedom, and their families … showing respect for our flag … voting in elections … or helping the homeless.
Let’s work together and show the world that we are proud of our freedom. We are proud of our country … we are proud to be Americans!