National Flag Day, June 14, commemorates the day in 1777 when the Second Continental Congress adopted the national flag of the United States of America.
How did Flag Day begin?
If Americans can fly their flag every day of the year, why is a Flag Day necessary?
Americans can fly the flag every day of the year, but June 14 is a special day of observance.
Memorial Day falls on Monday, May 31, this year in the United States. The most important thing Americans do on Memorial Day is honor military service members who gave their lives serving in the nation's wars or who died as a result of their combat injuries.
Many novels, memoirs, histories, and films tell the story of the men and women--sometimes known and more often unknown to most people--honored on Memorial Day.
Among the many are two young Marines--Corporal Jonathan T. Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan C. Haerter--who gave their lives in the line of duty. Their actions on April 22, 2008, saved over 150 U.S. Marines and Iraqi Police. It all happened in Ramadi, Iraq, which at the time was one of the most dangerous towns on Earth.
I learned about their inspirational actions from the following speech and film. You can, too.
Today, November 11, is Veterans Day in the USA, a date set aside each year to honor everyone who served in the United States military.
Memorial programs and parades occur throughout the country in a formal effort to show the nations's daily appreciation and gratitude for the service of the citizens who stepped forward during war and peace. Individuals who never served in the armed forces greet the veterans they see with a warm "Thank you for your service." Veterans turn to fellow veterans and say, "Thank you for your service."
Everyday is a good day to express one's appreciation to a veteran, but Veterans Day adds the contagious energy of an entire population celebrating together.
My generation is one where just about every kid's dad and uncles served in World War II or Korea. I never met any of the women who served in those wars until I enlisted in the Women's Army Corps during the Vietnam War.
Based on what I've learned since then, I might have met some female veterans during my childhood and adolescence without realizing it because women are often less likely to point out their military service.
I like to think that is changing.
Memorial Day is Monday, May 27, this year in the United States. The three-day weekend marks the beginning of summer for most Americans (ahead of the June 21 summer solstice), a day off from work and, weather permitting, outdoor activities in glorious sunshine.
But the most important thing Americans do on Memorial Day is honor service members who gave their lives serving in the nation’s wars or who died as a result of their combat injuries.
Somber memorial services at cemeteries across the country are often punctuated by gun salutes and aircraft flyovers. Local officials give speeches and the media snap images for news outlets. An active-duty service member might be invited to share accounts of soldiers, sailors, marines, or airmen who gave their lives for their country. Sitting in the bleachers at one of these memorial tributes is a humbling reminder of the debt we owe to those who have gone before us.
Hampton Sides’ nonfiction book, On Desperate Ground: The Marines at the Reservoir, the Korean War’s Greatest Battle, is another excellent reminder. His thorough and riveting account of the epic battle high in the mountains in the dead of winter at the Chosin Reservoir reads like a novel—a story you don’t want to put down, a story you wish were fiction rather than harsh truth.
Lynne Schall is the author of Cloud County Persuasion and Women's Company - The Minerva Girls. She and her family live in Kansas, USA, where she is working on a sequel to her second novel, Cloud County Persuasion.