May is a special month as it marks Military Appreciation Month. This is a time for us to acknowledge and honor the invaluable contributions and sacrifices made by our military members and their loved ones. Every day, families across the nation and the world hold their dear ones in their hearts and thoughts, feeling both worried and inspired by their bravery and commitment to serve in the US military and protect our nation. Throughout this month, we commemorate several events, such as Military Spouse Appreciation Day, Armed Forces Day, and Memorial Day. Each of these occasions holds its unique significance in honoring our heroes. It allows us to come together and express our gratitude towards those who have served and are still serving our country.


Military Spouse Appreciation Day

Military Spouse Appreciation Day is a wonderful opportunity to express gratitude towards the military spouses who selflessly serve our country behind the scenes. It is a day to reflect on their immense contributions and sacrifices, which often go unnoticed. This special day, observed on the Friday before Mother’s Day, was established by Ronald Reagan in 1984 as a way of recognizing the significant role played by military spouses in our communities. We should take this opportunity to celebrate and honor our military spouses and surviving spouses to show them their service is valued and appreciated.


National Armed Forces Day

The creation of Armed Forces Day came from Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson in August 1949 as an effort to unify the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense. President Harry S. Truman pushed to establish the holiday to recognize all military branches as a united front, honoring our military heroes on one solitary day. On May 20, 1950, over 10,000 Veterans and troops marching through Washington DC celebrated the first official Armed Forces Day while B-36 Bombers flew over state capitals. John F Kennedy declared it a national holiday in 1961. 

Celebrated on the third Saturday of May, National Armed Forces Day allows our military to showcase its strength as we honor our military men and women in parades and celebrations nationwide. It was created as a solitary day to honor those who have served or are currently serving in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard, including the National Guard and Reserve components.

President John F. Kennedy stated in 1963, “Our Servicemen and women are serving throughout the world as guardians of peace- many of them away from their homes, friends, and families. They are visible evidence of our determination to meet any threat to the peace with measured strength and high resolve. They are also evidence of a harsh but inescapable truth- that the survival of freedom requires great cost and commitment, and great personal sacrifice.”

National Armed Forces Day, celebrated on Saturday, May 18 this year, is a perfect opportunity to show your appreciation. You can celebrate by thanking a man or woman who served or has served, sending care packages to those serving overseas, volunteering through Veteran’s service organizations, attending a local celebration, or proudly flying the American Flag. These actions, big or small, can make a significant difference in showing our support and gratitude.


Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day of reflection and appreciation that falls on the last Monday of May. It provides an opportunity to pay tribute to those who bravely gave their lives while serving the United States during times of peace and war. It’s essential to remember that Memorial Day is not a celebration but a solemn remembrance of our fallen heroes.

Originally, Memorial Day honored the Civil War dead, but it has since evolved to honor all service members and Veterans who have passed away while serving our country during times of peace and war. This includes those who have fought in the 12 major wars along with other conflicts.

Memorial Day is commemorated throughout the United States with various events such as speeches, flyovers, wreath laying, color guards, musical performances (including taps), and flag ceremonies. Some municipal buildings fly flags at half-staff, while wreaths and bouquets are often displayed at private residences. Let us take the time to honor and remember the sacrifices of our fallen Veterans and this Memorial Day. It is an excellent opportunity to reflect on their service and selflessness and pay tribute to their ultimate sacrifice for our country.