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Loyalty Day – May 1

Scheduled over the weekend of May 1st and 2nd. First observed in 1927 as “Americanization Day,” this day has been set aside for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom. It’s a day little known to most working Americans, but one that should be celebrated openly as a remembrance of our collective responsibility to continue the legacy of liberty handed down by our founding fathers.

Memorial Day – Last Monday in May. This is a sacred to war veterans, on which all Americans should reflect on lives lost by their countrymen in wartime. Personal moments to reflect on such loss are appropriate for all. Public displays of remembrance are appreciated by veterans especially, such as raising the U. S. flag to half mast until noon, or inviting a veteran to speak about their experiences at your school or place of business. Memorial Day should leave each of us with a better appreciation for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.

Flag DayFlag Day – June 14th, 1777

Flag Day is held to honor the United States flag and commemorate the flag’s adoption. Whether referred to as “The Stars and Stripes” or “Old Glory” or by many other names, this symbol of America and our nation’s democratic ideals gets a well deserved tribute by veterans.

Independence Day – July 4th

The birth of our nation sets the stage for fireworks, picnics, parades and Mercer Island’s own “Summer Celebration.” This day recognizes the anniversary of the publication of the declaration of independence from Great Britain in 1776. Patriotic displays and family events are organized throughout the United States and many people take the opportunity to embrace all things red, white, and blue. Mom, baseball, and apple pie tend to take center stage as well, as this classic celebration has deep roots in the American tradition of political freedom and the American ideal.

Patriot DayPatriot Day – September 11th, 2001

One of our nation’s newest and most sorrowing days of remembrance. Where were you on September 11th 2001? This annual observance serves to remember those who were injured or died during the terrorist attacks in the United States that day; whether in New York City, at the Pentagon, or in the fields of Pennsylvania. United States government buildings worldwide fly the flag at half-mast and a moment of silence is observed at 8:46 am, Eastern Standard Time marking the first terrorist strike at the World Trade Center that day. Patriot Day is uniquely American as it represents our collective memory of the day when our citizens, police, firemen, servicemen and innocent bystanders were attacked.

POW MIAPOW/MIA Day – Third Friday in September

This is the day our black flag flies highest, for those who have been prisoners of war (POW) or remain missing in action (MIA) are not to be forgotten. Many Americans take the time to remember not only the POW/MIA, but their family members and loved ones as well. As for the black flag, all military installations fly the National League of Families’ POW/MIA flag, which symbolizes the nation’s remembrance of those who were imprisoned while serving in conflicts and those who remain missing.

Veterans DayVeterans Day – November 11th

This day is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which ended the World War I hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in 1918. Veterans have since been thanked by those in public office and communities across the country for their services and sacrifices in defense of the United States. Today, Veterans Day is intended to honor and thank all military personnel who served the United States in all wars, particularly living veterans. It is marked by parades and church services and in many places the American flag is flown at half-mast. A period of silence lasting two minutes may be held at 11:00 am, Eastern Standard Time.

Pearl Harbor DayPearl Harbor Day – December 7th, 1941

“A day that will live in infamy…” as President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced to a joint session of Congress and the nation the day after the Imperial Japanese Navy air attack on the U. S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands. War in the Pacific had finally come. Some of our local veterans were personally impacted by this event, due either to their Japanese-American heritage or later voluntary service in the Pacific or European theaters of war.

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