In 1999, the United States Congress formally designated May as National Military Appreciation Month. By doing so, this allows the nation to formally recognize and publicly demonstrate gratitude for the sacrifices the military and their families have made in order to ensure our freedom.
The month of May was chosen due to the fact a number of other service related days which fall within its calendar:
- Loyalty Day – Established in 1921
- Victory in Europe – May 8, 1945 – Commemorates the end of WWII in Europe
- Armed Forces Day – Established in 1949
- Military Spouse Appreciation Day – Established in 1984
- Memorial Day – History dates back to Civil War when this day was set aside to remember the military service members who died in the line of duty
The idea of a national military month began as a simple concept – gather the American people around their military family to show their support. Today it has grown to include activities and events which take place all across the country giving the much deserved support to our military. In addition, it gives the people an opportunity to recognize all who have served and continue to serve and to focus on the history of our esteemed military. This legislation also speaks volumes to our military troops, after all, their country now has a month set aside to honor and appreciate, as well as remember, them.
Of course, our military should receive recognition year round. Take a moment to thank a veteran or an active service member. Let them know you appreciate their service. Let this 15th Anniversary of National Military Appreciation Month be the beginning of a broader awareness of the sacrifices our military makes for our country.