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   P.O. Box 1250
   Roanoke, Tx 76262


Loyalty Day was first observed in 1921 as "Americanization Day.”  It is a legal holiday but not a federal holiday (federal offices do not close.)

It was made an official holiday by the U.S. Congress in 1958 (Public Law 85-529). Following the passage of this law, President Dwight Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1959, the first official observance of Loyalty Day. 

Loyalty Day is a national remembrance held every May 1 in which Posts and Auxiliaries are expected to participate.

On July 4, 1776, after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress of the newly formed United States of America appointed a committee to design a national seal.  Our Founders set out to create a visible symbol of our sovereign country to inspire all our citizens and to represent us abroad.

 An initial sketch depicted a banner bearing the Latin motto, "E Pluribus Unum," or, "Out of many, one."  After years of deliberation and multiple drafts of the emblem's design, the final seal displayed an eagle with outstretched wings, clenching a banner in its beak with those powerful words emblazoned across it.  It became a cherished creed, representing the foundation of our national values.  As a union of States and a Nation of immigrants from every part of the world, we are bound as one people by our adherence to common ideals:  individual equality, constitutional liberty, and the rule of law.

Over two centuries since our Founders established our Republic and our freedom, the firm resolve that ran in their veins still courses through our own.  Since then, countless loyal Americans have risen to preserve our Union and the blessings bestowed upon us.  Today, whether singing the national anthem, watching our flag billow in the breeze, or seeing the hope in a young child's eyes, each of us can still feel the patriotism and respect for one another that defines us as a people.  It is the same love of country that drives our Armed Forces to shoulder the responsibility of defending our citizens and our values.  We will forever stand united against any force that seeks to divide us, finding strength in our diversity and inspiration in the sacrifices of our forebears.

The Congress, by Public Law 85 529 as amended, has designated May 1 of each year as "Loyalty Day."  On this day, we honor the legacy of these United States, and we remember all those who have fought to defend our freedom.”

President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced the Korean Armistice which was signed on July 27 in 1953.  It signified the end of the conflict in Korea.  In part, President Eisenhower’s address stated, “With special feelings of sorrow--and of solemn gratitude--we think of those who were called upon to lay down their lives in that far-off land to prove once again that only courage and sacrifice can keep freedom alive upon the earth. To the widows and orphans of this war, and to those veterans who bear disabling wounds, America renews tonight her pledge of lasting devotion and care.” 

When we remember this event, we should note that the Korean War, which began in 1950, cost this country over 30,000 lives and had over 100,000 wounded.  Support your Korean Veterans and learn more about this through our local Post 5074 in Roanoke, TX.

In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress.  It was then placed on the last Monday in May.  The history of how this important date to recognize all fallen military came into being is interesting.

After the Civil War, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans – the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) – established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead.  Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day would be observed on May 30.  This date was probably chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

Gen. Logan’s order for his posts was to decorate graves in 1868 “with the choicest flowers of springtime.”  “We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance….Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners.  Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”

The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River near Washington D. C.  Ceremonies centered on the veranda of the Arlington mansion, once home to Gen. Robert E. Lee.  Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided.  Children from the Soldiers and Sailors Orphan Home and Union veterans walked through the cemetery, spreading flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.

Local tributes to the Civil War dead already had been held in various places.  One of the first occurred in Columbus MI, April 25, 1866, when a group of women visited a cemetery to decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers who had fallen in battle at Shiloh.  Nearby were the neglected graves of Union soldiers.  Disturbed at the site of the bare graves, the women placed flowers on those graves as well.

Today, approximately 25 cities claim to be the origin of Memorial Day.  In 1966, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, NY the “birthplace” of Memorial Day.  There, a ceremony on May 30, 1866, honored local veterans who had fought in the Civil War.  Businesses closed and residents flew flags at half-staff.  By the end of the nineteenth century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars.  

This day is an annual observance held on September 11 to remember those who were injured or died during the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001. Almost 3000 persons lost their lives when the attacks were made on New York City, Washington D. C. and in Shanksville, PA. 

Patriot Day was signed into law on December 18, 2001 by President George W. Bush as a day to remember those who lost their lives.  On Patriot Day, Americans should fly at half- staff their flags and observe a moment of silence to honor those individuals.  In his annual Proclamation, our President asks all of us as citizens to remember those who died on September 11, to serve our communities, and to also remember all those who currently serve this nation in the military.  

POW/MIA stands for Prisoners of War/Missing in Action.  The third Friday of September is designated as the day we, along with all Americans, honor those of our military forces that are missing, unaccounted for, and possibly still remain as prisoners of war.  This day of recognition is one of six days annually when the black and white POW/MIA flag is flown over federal facilities, cemeteries and military installations.

Please note that our Post holds the ceremony for POW/MIA on the Saturday immediately after to allow for greater participation.  

The Department of Defense (DOD) continues the efforts to account for all those who have served and who have POW/MIA status. This is the current list from the DOD website of numbers unaccounted:

Unaccounted for from Past Conflicts:

World War II                        73,515
Korean War                            7,841
Vietnam War                           1,626
Cold War                                    126
Iraq & Other Conflicts                 6


Total                                       83,114            

From the website of the DOD at you can access a list of those recently accounted for:

The VFW and its Auxiliary continue the fight for veterans including those who bear the special burden of POW status, for their families, and for those for whom we have yet no accounting.  

It was a moment unexpected to the American people and to the nations that supported the individual freedoms of mankind.  This moment stands remembered by our nation as the beginning to a dreadful war, a rallying cry that still remains, and an example of what a country can and will do when necessary.  We have not forgotten and never will December 7.

Over 3500 Americans dead and wounded from the 2-hour long attack, 350 aircraft destroyed, 8 battleships sunk or damaged beyond use……..a shocked and angry nation listened via radio to the address to Congress of third-term President Franklin Delano Roosevelt:

“Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:

Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island.

And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore,  undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.”

Roanoke Memorial Post No. 5074 Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) United States of America annually recognizes, celebrates, and remembers all Veterans.  On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month – November 11, 11:00 a.m. – Post 5074 holds a ceremony to recognize this most important of all days for our nation’s Veterans.  All American patriots are invited to join us for this event.  Please check with the Post for the event location.

Once there was a war so massive in world scope that it was referred to as “The Great War” and was thought to be “the war to end all wars.”  That war is what we now refer to as World War I and it was fought between the Allied Nations (which included the United States of America) and Germany.  The ceasefire of World War I went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.  Hence the use of November 11 and the time of 11:00 a.m. for what is now referred to as the US holiday Veterans Day.

President Woodrow Wilson in 1919 declared “reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory.”  For many years the day was referred to as Armistice Day which became an official legal holiday in 1938.  However, in 1954, on the recommendation of veterans’ organizations, both the name and purpose was changed.  Between the 1918 Armistice of World War I and 1954, this nation and multiple others throughout the world had fought another World War and the US had also been engaged in the Korean Conflict. 

In the words of President Eisenhower, “…all veterans, all veterans' organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose…” to recognize and honor all US military veterans.  November 11 remains now as the most significant date in our annual calendar to reflect on our military sacrifices throughout the nation’s entire history.  (Note – for a brief time (1971-1978) Veterans Day was celebrated on a Monday to conform to the Uniform Holiday Bill which moved the celebrations of Memorial Day, Washington’s Birthday, Columbus Day and Veterans Day into a three-day weekend.  After much consternation from the states and veterans organizations, President Ford signed legislation, effective in 1978, that restored November 11 as the date for Veterans Day regardless of the day of the week on which it falls.)

What does Veterans Day truly mean?  Honor.  Recognition.  Celebration.  Remembrance.  Patriotism.

The involvement of the United States with the continuing conflict between North and South Vietnam was officially recorded as at an end during the Paris Peace accords of 1973.  Fighting between North and South Vietnam was temporarily halted.  Negotiations had begun in 1968 and were concluded under the direction of the main US negotiator Dr. Henry Kissinger who was the US National Security Advisor.  For his efforts he was recognized (along with Lê Ðức Thọ of the Vietnamese politburo) and awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize.

Presidential Proclamation--Loyalty Day


VFW Post 5074