Military-related observances dominate May

Posted On: Friday, 03 May 2024

The month of May is unique when it comes to the American Legion Auxiliary and the general public. You see, when someone mentions Memorial Day, Americans typically picture military personnel in uniform, a veteran like Grandpa, or even a tombstone decorated with special flowers. Aside from vacation days and cookouts, the holiday tends to evoke thoughts of military and honor in most of us. 

And speaking of our heroes, there are more military-related observances in May than in any other month. You could say it’s a busy time for Auxiliary members! We have a lot going on at the unit, department/state, and national levels because of these times of special recognition: National Military Appreciation Month, Military Spouse Appreciation Day, Armed Forces Day, National Poppy Day®, Memorial Day, and more. 

The American Legion Auxiliary was founded in 1919 to support our military servicemembers — past, present, and future — and their families. We haven’t let go of that important mission. In fact, even after adding other programs and activities to our mission service roster, our strongest connection remains tied to the military. May is a time for the American Legion Auxiliary to show nonmembers what we’re made of. Everything presented, hosted, or done during this month 100 percent demonstrates the forefront of who we are, what we do, and why we matter as an organization.

On National Poppy Day (May 24 this year), for example, our members will be out in full force at local American Legion posts, storefronts, shopping malls, and other high foot traffic areas to ask the public for a nominal donation in exchange for a poppy. When you feel that red crepe paper flower on your fingertips, you and the Auxiliary member who gave it to you are likely thinking the same thing: This poppy symbolizes the sacrifices made by our veterans, servicemembers, and their families. We thank them for our freedom. 

ALA Mission

In the spirit of Service, Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.