TAYLOR COUNTY—May 1 has been set aside as a day to celebrate the heritage of Freedom America through the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
First observed in 1921, to counter the Communists’ celebration of the Russian Revolution, Loyalty Day allows a time for citizens to celebrate the freedoms they have been granted, and those who willingly entered into the American Armed Forces to ensure that the country remained free.
Originally called Americanization Day, the goal of the day was to bring citizens from a multitude of backgrounds and cultures together, to honor their freedoms and show their loyalty to the United States.
Organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) hold events to help recognize the efforts of brave men and women who gave their all to defend the United States Constitution and the freedoms it contains.
In fact, the VFW was instrumental in the creation of the holiday. On May 1, 1930, 10,000 members rallied in New York in Union Square, and by 1950, that number had grown into a five-million-person rally. Through a resolution adopted in 1949, Americanization Day was observed.
On April 27, 1955, the Americanization Day was officially renamed Loyalty Day. Then, on July 18, 1958, a resolution was enacted proclaiming Loyalty Day as a permanent fixture on the calendar as a nationally recognized holiday.
Loyalty Day has been recognized with an official proclamation every year by every president since its inception as a legal holiday in 1958.
Loyalty Day is for everyone, not just those who have served. It is a day for all Americans to take a moment to fully recognize the freedoms that are often taken for granted. It is a day to honor not only those who have served, but those who set a daily example for fellow citizens to follow, including law enforcement officers and first responders.
To help the youth of the county ponder the importance of the national holiday, as well as what being an American means to them, the VFW Post 3018 Auxiliary holds annual Loyalty Day Poster and Essay Contests.
The contests are open to third and fourth grade students of the county, whether they are enrolled in Taylor County Schools or are homeschooled.
The first of the two contests is open to third grade students, who will be tasked with delving into their creative side, during this year’s Loyalty Day Poster Contest.
Youths are asked to create a one-of-a-kind piece that depicts this year’s theme, “What America Means to Me.” Posters must be the child’s original artwork.
Grab your colored pencils, crayons, markers, paint or other medium to create your patriotic piece, which should measure no larger than nine inches by 13 inches.
The second of the two contests will have fourth grade adolescents putting pen to paper, and fingers to keyboards, for the VFW Auxiliary’s annual Loyalty Day Essay Contest.
Participants are requested to submit a 300-word or less essay describing this year’s theme, “What America Means to Me.”
Posters and essay entries may be turned in to the VFW 3081 post home, located at 225 West Main Street, Grafton, now until April 28. Late entries will not be accepted.
For more information on either contest, please contact VFW Post 3081 Auxiliary President Brenda Thompson at 304-476-8727.