Loyalty Day 2020

John A. Collier Sr. - 7/1/2020

Loyalty Day 2020

Fellow Members of the Rocket Post, I want to take a moment to talk to you about the observance of Loyalty Day, a day which I wasn’t familiar with. In an age where we have a special emphasis on seemingly every day of the year, this particular day is worthy of mention. I apologize that we didn’t address it sooner, but these past few months have been challenging for many reasons, some of which I think shed great light on this special day.

Loyalty Day is a holiday observed on the first day of May. It was first observed in 1921, shortly after the first Red Scare. This was a period in our country between 1920 and 1921, caused by several factors including WWI, which caused a strong sense of Nationalism. The Bolshevik Revolution also fueled American fears of immigrants and dissidents from Russia and eastern European countries who might have communist, socialists, or anarchist ideologies. There were in fact several incidents of Anarchist mail bombs sent to prominent Americans including United States Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer and United States Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

Loyalty Day was originally call "Americanization Day” and intended to replace the May 1 (May Day) celebration of the International Workers’ Day, which commemorated the 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago.

During the second Red Scare of the 1950s, it was recognized by Congress on April 27th, 1955, and made an official recurring holiday on July 18th, 1958. President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1st, 1955, the first observance of Loyalty Day. In 1958, Eisenhower urged Congress to move Child Health Day to the first Monday in October, to avoid conflicting with Loyalty Day and it has been recognized by every president since its inception as a legal holiday.

So, what does Loyalty Day stand for? It is a day in which Americans reaffirm their loyalty to the United States and the recognition of the heritage of American freedom. The Presidential Proclamation issued does the following: It calls on United States Government officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on Loyalty Day, and invites the people of the United States to observer Loyalty Day with appropriate ceremonies in schools and other public places.

As we look at the history and context of Loyalty Day and we look at the current state of affairs in our nation today, I would suggest that we may in fact be experiencing similar conditions and forces at work which seek to undermine and destroy the vary values and ideas that created our great nation. As veterans or family members of veterans, you have made the choice to defend our Constitution and its inherent impact on our way of life. We must continue to stand by our oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies, foreign AND domestic, and promote patriotism and Americanism within our communities.


Mark Kelley


VFW "Rocket” Post 4534