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By Staff
Loyalty Day more important than ever
May 1 of each year is designated as Loyalty Day by Congressional Act 85-229 of 1958. The passage of this particular act was one of the brightest victories in the long, proud history of Americanism achievements by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
It was the culmination of a long struggle to set aside a special day on which Americans could pointedly counteract the Communist, who were using May Day for their annual hate demonstrations across our nation.
Loyalty Day was not a spur of the moment concept. The basic idea of staging patriotic demonstrations to offset the Communist rallies actually started in the 1930s. These annual demonstrations were simply termed Americanism rallies.
The VFW fight to obtain federal government recognition of May 1 as "Loyalty Day" began in earnest with the adoption of a resolution at the Golden Jubilee VFW National Convention in Miami in 1949.
A move to gain official endorsement of "Loyalty Day" was finally launched in Congress in 1954 with the introduction of a House Joint Resolution by Rep. James E. Van Zandt, Pennsylvania, three-times Commander in Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
In 1955, Congress approved it, but simply designated May 1, 1955 as "Loyalty Day." Still not satisfied, the VFW continued to push for a bill that would proclaim May 1 of each year as "Loyalty Day." This official recognition was finally achieved with the Congressional adoption of Public Law 529 in 1958.
Since its passage, Loyalty Day has been a resounding success. Each year it gains impetus across the land as millions of Americans participate in and witness the observances in every state in the nation and in Asia, Europe, and Pacific areas, the Panama Canal Zone and Puerto Rico.
Loyalty Day serves as that specific occasion when all American citizens should publicly reaffirm their complete loyalty to America by demonstrating against individuals who advocate the overthrow of our government.
Only positive patriotic reaction by the majority of our citizens will effectively counteract them.
This is the reason we have Loyalty Day – to continually encourage loyal Americans to speak out. It is a day which patriotic citizens should hold parades, flag ceremonies, public meetings, school programs and other Americanism activities throughout the nation.
The ideals and concepts of our forefathers have long endured and have forged these states in to the strongest and greatest nation our world has ever known, but we need a tremendous resurgence of good, old-fashioned, red, white and blue patriotism on a daily basis, if we are to continue as free people.
Staunch Americans must awaken and live up to their obligations as responsible citizens if they truly desire to remain free and for only the loyal and responsible deserve to be free.
Loyalty is an intangible thing, but it causes people to form a government, to obey its laws and rules and to willingly defend their country against its enemies. It is the cohesive factor that welds a people together to act for the common good.
We observe Loyalty Day, therefore, to remind our selves that there is no substitute for loyalty and we observe to pledge ourselves to maintain a free society in which loyalty is respected and encouraged.
I encourage all of my fellow Americans to contact the local Veterans of Foreign War post and join them when they celebrate this day.
Don Sanders
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10774