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Friday, May 1, 2009

Loyalty Day honored by local Veterans/public schools

TEN Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW members), 3 ladies auxiliary members, one musician to play "Taps" and a string trio criss-crossed West Bend in celebration of Loyalty Day. This group visited 3 elementary schools and two senior centers. They continued visiting local schools yesterday and today, promoting patriotism among the youth of our community.

Loyalty Day originally began as "Americanization Day" in 1921 as a counter to the Communists' May 1 celebration of the Russian Revolution. On May 1, 1930, 10,000 VFW members staged a rally at New York's Union Square to promote patriotism. Through a resolution adopted in 1949, May 1 evolved into Loyalty Day. Observances began in 1950 on April 28 and climaxed May 1 when more than five million people across the nation held rallies. In New York City, more than 100,000 people rallied for America. In 1958 Congress enacted Public Law 529 proclaiming Loyalty Day a permanent fixture on the nation's calendar.

Under the able leadership of John Kleinmaus, a veteran of the Vietnam War, the audience was insightfully given the history of some of our favorite patriotic songs, and the importance of our nation to be diligent to retain our freedom for our posterity. We must remain on guard to those forces undermining freedom in America and around the world. The color guard presented the US flag and the flags of our military. A Pearl Harbor survivor was among the Vets in attendance.

Selah Strings played various musical selections reminding us of our rich heritage. A solo of "Taps" ended the ceremony at each location.
The students at Green Tree Elementary treated everyone when they sang The Star Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful.
The Badger Middle School students took part in their program by playing patriotic music and performing a color guard presentation. Each principal received the book, Lessons on Liberty, for their school library.

If you have children or grandchildren in our local schools, ask them about Loyalty Day; it could be a great opportunity to discuss patriotism together!

Hats off to those who sacrificed time to teach and excite children about their patriotic heritage!

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