Military Appreciation Month - May 2022
Officially designated by Congress in 1999, Military Appreciation Month takes place every year throughout the entire month of May. Every year, the president issues an annual proclamation reminding Americans to celebrate this patriotic month that pays tribute to those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.
- Military Spouse Appreciation Day (May 6, 2022) takes place on the Friday before Mother’s Day and honors the military spouses who sacrifice so much in support of their service member’s mission. President Ronald Reagan first proclaimed “Military Spouse Day” a holiday in 1984 before Congress declared it part of Military Appreciation Month in 1999:
- Mother’s Day (May 8, 2022) takes place every year in the U.S. on the second Sunday of May and was created in 1908 by Anna Jarvis. It officially became a holiday, as declared by President Woodrow Wilson, in 1914. Fittingly close to Military Spouse Appreciation Day, Mother’s Day takes place very year in the U.S. on the second Sunday of May.
- VE Day, marking the end of a long and deadly war, VE Day, short for “Victory in Europe Day,” celebrated just that: the end of World War II on the European front. Since this momentous occasion in 1945, much of the world has continued to celebrate VE Day on May 8 every year. It has since become an official holiday in Military Appreciation Month.
- Armed Forces Day (May 21, 2022) is celebrated on the third Saturday in May, and it is the day Americans celebrate their military forces. Unlike Veterans Day (previously observed as Armistice Day - marking the end of World War I), which honors those who wore the cloth of our nation at war, and unlike Memorial Day, which honors those who died wearing the cloth of our nation at war, Armed Forces Day is the proper day to honor both the men and women currently serving, as well as those who have previously served and sacrificed to defend our freedom. Armed Forces Day was created on August 31, 1949, by then-Secretary of Defense, Louis Johnson, to replace separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days. The event stemmed from the Armed Forces’ unification under one Department of Defense by then-President Harry S. Truman when he signed the National Security Act into law on July 26, 1947.
- Memorial Day (May 30, 2022), which is celebrated on the last Monday in May, honors service members who have died in military service to the nation. The holiday has roots dating back to the post-Civil War era, when citizens would informally create spring flower memorials on the graves of fallen soldiers. In modern history, the holiday is also often cited as the unofficial start to the summer and many families choose to pay tribute to fallen service members by visiting veterans’ cemeteries or memorials, like the Vietnam or World War II Memorials in Washington, D.C.