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Loyalty Day events slated for May 1 at State Capitol

Posted 4/18/17

The Pennsylvania Department of Veterans of Foreign Wars will hold its annual Loyalty to America Day event on Monday, May 1, starting at 10 a.m. at the State Capitol, by the fountain outside of the …

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Loyalty Day events slated for May 1 at State Capitol

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The Pennsylvania Department of Veterans of Foreign Wars will hold its annual Loyalty to America Day event on Monday, May 1, starting at 10 a.m. at the State Capitol, by the fountain outside of the East Rotunda.

Combat veterans will lead a celebration of the U.S. flag, freedom, of the role veterans have played in preserving freedom, of troops who defend freedom and of the liberties made possible by democracy.

State lawmakers, government officials, veterans, military representatives and the Hanover High School band will all participate in the free program, which is expected to last 45 minutes.

Loyalty Day originally began as Americanization Day in 1921 to counter the Communists' May 1 celebration of the Russian Revolution. 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 5 million people across the nation held rallies.

In 1958, Congress enacted Public Law 529 proclaiming Loyalty Day a permanent fixture on the nation’s calendar. Since then, the State Headquarters and local VFW Posts have held events on May 1.

“Many people take freedom for granted, and forget that around the world instability today threatens to take freedom away from millions of people. Citizens in some countries have never experienced freedom like ours due to oppressive governments,” said Pennsylvania VFW State Commander Thomas A. Brown of Swarthmore, a Korean War veteran. “This event will inspire everyone to celebrate the powerful and unique ideals that make living in America so special.

“We are very blessed in America to have freedom and a form of representative government,” he said. “We may not all agree on issues, but we value our right to freely speak our minds and to vote on the nation’s leadership. We appreciate those who have served because they have sacrificed so much to protect and preserve our freedom.”

The Pennsylvania Department of VFW consists of 85,000 members in 440 posts throughout the commonwealth, which makes it the largest VFW state department in America. In Pennsylvania, VFW organizations annually donate more than $15 million in financial donations and volunteer community service combined, according to the organization.

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