American Legion Celebrates America: Honor the Past, Celebrate Today

Post Date January 7, 2014

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VFW veterans, veterans, celebrate america

Both my uncles served in the military — one with the Navy (the Tet Offensive in Vietnam), the other in the Air Force. I didn’t know much about this as a young girl, but I began to piece it together recently.


I remember walking into their favorite legions and suddenly they were entirely known in their community. People they had not seen in decades would greet them as if no time had passed. They would discuss old friends, things they went through, and battles they had seen. My uncle who went to Vietnam would joke about in an off-duty whim, he decided to dive off his warship to go swimming –however, when he had hit the water, he had actually landed into the long tentacles of a Man-of-War jellyfish. Others would contribute their injuries, both in combat and out of combat over a round or two of beers.


Through soaking in these stories and visits, I learned that it wasn’t just a gathering strictly just for veterans — my parents had their wedding reception in the local VFW legion near my mother’s hometown. Families and friends come together and support their loved ones, and eventually it just became a regular gathering place  — a hub of memory, celebration, honoring, and remembering.
legionThere is a rich history within the walls of each legion, which started on September 16, 1919 across our great nation. From gathering supplies to knitting blankets and hosting social gatherings, these were and still are hubs of support and encouragement for those who served — from the first veteran to step inside from the Great War to the latest soldier back from tour in Iraq.


The brave men and women who have served in the US military come from a long legacy of generations who have put their lives on the line for the safety and security of the nation. After having this kind of realization, it is easy to be overwhelmed as to how one should respond. Simply put: returning the kindness of veterans with appreciation and gratitude is the best way to start. Whether it’s a string of days that are directly related to celebrating America or a regular day of knowing and acknowledging that you have freedom — your efforts to support your residents will certainly be cherished and remembered.


The basic essential is this: flags. In the dead of winter or in the middle of the 4th of July, the flag is the most simple and wonderful way to show support for the USA — even without any words. Hang large ones from poles and ceilings, and you can set small flags (one or many) as centerpieces. For a wider pool for decorating ideas, go for patriotic altogether — celebrating America has never been so easy or fun. Centerpieces, tableware, and balloons are a great, simple way to show pride for your Red White and Blue. For fun outdoor events like a summer BBQ or party, try combining a luau theme with patriotic with leis and beads.


At a quick glance,  here are some of the main patriotic events of a given year:


  • Martin Luther King Day
  • Presidents’ Day
  • Memorial Day
  • 4th of July
  • Labor Day
  • Patriot Day – September 11
  • Columbus Day
  • Veterans Day


One thing is for certain: no matter how you celebrate vets, your appreciation and love are just some of the things that will live on in the collective memory of this selfless, honorable community.