Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany --
Approximately 30 Marines from Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Ga. joined local veterans to observe Loyalty Day Saturday at the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Barr-Allen Post 2785.
Typically observed annually on May 1, the Marines were invited to learn about the history of the day, hear a guest speaker and share a meal with the veterans.
After singing the National Anthem and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, the attendees watched a “passing of old glory” ceremony as the oldest veteran passed the flag to the youngest Marine in attendance, Pfc. Alonzo Cruz, personnel clerk, Installation Personnel Administration Center, Manpower Division, MCLB Albany.
Immediately after the ceremony, guest speaker Col. C.N. Haliday, commanding officer, MCLB Albany, gave a sobering speech to the large group.
“On this Loyalty Day, let’s pause and reflect upon those who have sacrificed their lives in the nation’s interest. As our nation enters its seventh year at war, and as our men and women continue to sacrifice overseas, we whom remain at home can certainly do more to support our troops and display our patriotism as we are doing here today,” Haliday said.
Enacted by Public Law 85-829 by Congress in 1958, May 1 of each year was designated as Loyalty Day. A day of national observance to show loyalty to American ideals, honor the nation and remember with pride the courageous individuals who help keep it safe and strong.
The history of Loyalty Day dates back to 1921 according to the VFW. Originally started as “Americanization Day” to counter the Communists’ May 1 celebration of the Russian Revolution, the day grew support over a decade. By 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 alone, more than 100,000 people attended the rally.
In 1958 Loyalty Day became a permanent fixture on the nation’s calendar.
A proclamation signed May 1 by President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, called upon all the people of the U.S. to join in support of this day of observance and to display the flag in support of the men and women of the armed forces. He also proclaimed that these Americans and many others have made enormous sacrifices, and the nation is grateful for their selflessness and unshakeable loyalty.
“As we celebrate this Loyalty Day, lets rededicate ourselves to patriotic deeds which will outlast our patriotic words which ride grandly, but fleetingly, on the Georgia breezes for a short time before vanishing until next year,” Haliday said as he ended his speech.