May 1 was Loyalty Day.
For those who have never heard of it, May 1 of each year is designated as Loyalty Day by Congressional Act 85-529 of 1958. The passage of this particular act was one of the brightest victories in the long, proud history of American achievements by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
It was the result of a long struggle to set aside a special day on which Americans could pointedly counteract the Communists, who were using May Day for their annual hate demonstrations against our nation.
A move to gain official endorsement of Loyalty Day was launched in Congress in 1954 with the introduction of a House Joint Resolution by Rep. James E. Van Zandt, Pennsylvania and three-time commander-in-chief of the VFW.
In 1955, Congress approved it but only designated May 1, 1955 as Loyalty Day. 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.
Loyalty Day serves as a specific occasion when American citizens should publicly reaffirm their loyalty to America. It is a day upon which patriotic citizens should hold parades, flag ceremonies, public meetings, school programs, and other American activities.
The ideals and concepts of our forefathers have long endured and have forged these states into the strongest and greatest nation the 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 to endure as free people.
We need to once again start observing Loyalty Day, reminding ourselves and others that there is no substitute for loyalty and observe it by pledging ourselves to maintain a free society in which loyalty is respected and encouraged.
President, District 26 VFW Ladies Auxiliary
(Loyalty Day will be celebrated this Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Ashville VFW.)