Archive for the "National Holidays" Category
National Maritime Day is a holiday that represents all of the maritime services in the United States. Held annually on May 22nd, this is a day for observation and celebration for all the ways that the industry helps our country. This includes economic stability and security, as well as entertainment by the way of cruises and other methods of water recreation. National Maritime Day is observed by the country, but it is not considered a federal holiday.
Water has played a critical role in the United States from its beginnings. Not only did colonists make it over to the continent by water, but the resulting ports also helped make trade and commerce more efficient and profitable. The economic value of the maritime industry is crucial. Also, the ports along the country’s waters have been involved in active protection during times of war.
In 1933, Congress created National Maritime Day as a way to celebrate the importance of the maritime industry. It also aims to recognize sailors and sea workers, as well as servicemen and women. May 22nd was chosen to honor the United States’ first transatlantic voyage by steamship through the Savannah. During the early 1800s, the Savannah successfully sailed from Georgia to Liverpool, England.
Given the nature of the holiday, it’s no surprise that the majority of National Maritime Day celebrations are held near the sea. Participants often host special events to showcase ships to the public. These events are family-friendly and can include music and other celebrations at seaports throughout the country. Not only may cruise ships be seen here, but the public may also get a glimpse of ships used in the military, as well as fleets used in fishing and transportation.
For some, National Maritime Day is an opportunity to remember military service men and women lost at sea. Other military celebrations on this holiday aim to increase recognition for those who serve on and in the water for the country. While this holiday is recognized by government, it is not a federal holiday like Memorial Day. This means that all federal offices are open on this day, unless the holiday falls on a weekend.
There are numerous symbols seen throughout the industry on National Maritime Day. Supporters may display symbols of anchors as well as other sea-related designs. Most often, citizens take the opportunity to display the American flag as part of their support.
As of 2006, the Maritime Administration has collaborated with other major entities to make National Maritime Day a success. These organizations include the Coast Guard, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the American Association of Port Authorities. The President of the United States also makes a speech on this holiday to commemorate the efforts and important roles the maritime industry plays in everyday American life.
National Maritime Day is not a military holiday. However, some branches of the military, such as the Coast Guard and Navy, may participate in the annual celebrations. Many volunteers within these armed forces help hose special public education events that encourage recognition of the maritime industry. Other events recognize the services of military personnel who worked on the water to help serve the U.S.
Memorial Day is a holiday created as a day to recognize the dedicated men and women who died during their services. It is a federal holiday observed every last Monday in May. Unlike other military-related holidays in the United States like Armed Forces Day and Veterans Day, Memorial Day is specifically dedicated to fallen military service men and women. This holiday has evolved since the post-Civil War era, and has even become iconic in the American lifestyle.
There is much debate about who officially started the types of observances that would later lead to the official holiday we know as Memorial Day. While some historians argue that the holiday was started by former Union soldiers after the Civil War, others argue that the Confederacy started it. Perhaps it was started by both parties; historically, Confederate families showed a strong dedication to giving fallen soldiers proper burials as well as making sure their graves were well-kept. It is thought that the Union adopted these practices. In 1868, the Grand Army of the Republic established Decoration Day to encourage beautification of Union graves.
The original holiday was known as Decoration Day for several decades. While the Grand Army of the Republic established the day as a Union holiday, the practices eventually included all the states. After World War II, the holiday was renamed as Memorial Day, and it was held on May 30th every year. A bill created and passed in 1968 changed the date of Memorial Day to fall on the last Monday of May in order to provide citizens with three day weekends to better celebrate. This tradition has been celebrated since 1971.
Memorial Day celebrations are numerous in style and scope across the nation. Traditionally, the American flag is flown at half-mast every morning until noon that day. Many events are held at memorial grounds as well as at cemeteries. On Memorial Day, volunteers help to decorate the graves of soldiers with American flags and flowers. Special services are held at these sites, and the President of the United States has a speech every year.
The beautification of the graves of fallen soldiers is a tradition that stems back to the Confederacy during and after the Civil War. While these practices are still followed every Memorial Day, some of the events held today are often more uplifting. Parades and picnics are held in order to raise awareness, while giving families a chance to get together to celebrate their loved ones who fought and died during military service.
While traditional celebrations take precedence on Memorial Day, the holiday has also taken on other meanings in American culture. Many public schools are out for the summer, and this day often marks the starting time for vacations among many workers. While summer doesn’t officially start until June, many people in the U.S. consider the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day as summer. Some people also abide by unofficial fashion rules that permit the wearing of white shoes and clothing, although many of these patterns have been broken in recent years.
Since Memorial Day is a federal holiday, all government offices are closed on this date. Closures also extend to public schools and banks. Certain cities with strong military roots are often congested on Memorial Day due to all the events and celebrations. This is especially the case in Washington, D.C., as well as Arlington, Virginia.
Armed Forces Day is a holiday that highlights the services of men and women in the armed forces of the United States. This includes the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy. Armed Forces Day is celebrated on every third Saturday of May as a part of Armed Forces Week that takes place the week prior. This special day is designed as an opportunity for U.S. citizens to pay tribute to the dedicated members of the military.
Before 1949, there were separate holidays in the United States that celebrated the services of those in the Army, Air Force and Navy. This is partly due to the fact that each of these branches of the armed forces were represented under different entities. After World War II, the armed forces regrouped and the Department of Defense was created to unify all branches of the military.
To help commemorate the new department, President Truman’s new Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced a holiday dedicated to the unification. Secretary Johnson announced the creation of Armed Forces Day in 1949. The first holiday was observed on May 20, 1950. It was declared thereafter to fall on every third Saturday in May. In 1950, the theme for the very first Armed Forces Day was “Teamed for Defense.”
Armed Forces Day was not only created as an event to bring together all branches of the military, but it was also utilized as an opportunity for American citizens to get to know their armed forces better. While some citizens know all the branches of military, many do not know all the ins and outs of what it is like to serve. Armed Forces Day aims to increase awareness of these roles through public education, much of which extends through Armed Forces Week.
The public is educated about the armed forces through many ways. Children may learn about the military at school leading up to Armed Forces Day, while the military often holds educational events that are free to the public. Some communities hold parades and other light-hearted events that showcase the essence of the military while getting citizens involved. In addition, many citizens take this opportunity to sign up with one of the branches of the military during this special time.
Symbols for Armed Forces Day include the American flag, as well as the seals of the branches of military. There is a theme for each year. In 2013, the theme is slated is “Strong and Resilient: Prepared to Meet Any Challenge.”
Armed Forces Day is a very important holiday in the U.S. While it is a national holiday, there are no special days off of school or work to commemorate the day. This is partly due to the fact that the holiday always falls on a Saturday when government institutions are closed anyway.
Other nations have their own holidays to celebrate their armed forces. However, the dates are not the same as the holiday in the U.S. Some countries choose to celebrate their armed forces around significant dates in their own history. For example, the United Kingdom celebrates its Armed Forces Day every June. In some nations, armed forces holidays coincide with dates to commemorate veterans as well as soldiers killed in combat; this is different from the United States, which has three separate holidays for all each.
The world community continues its efforts to go green. Certain holidays have been observed for years to commemorate greener practices. While Earth Day and World Water Day are among the most prominent of such holidays, Arbor Day is another important date. While its roots are historically more agricultural in nature, this holiday has evolved into an increasingly popular way to celebrate trees and their growth.
Arbor Day is a holiday dedicated to growing trees. People participate both individually and as a part of groups around the world. Many public schools also participate by offering education programs on the importance of agriculture, as well as growing trees on campuses. Arbor Day is historically celebrated on the last Friday of April in its place of origination: Nebraska.
In the 1850s, agriculturalist J Sterling Morton made numerous important discoveries about trees when he moved to Nebraska. He planted his own trees and found that the greenery was not only an effective source of shade, but they also helped to keep the soil grounded. Almost 20 years later, Morton proposed a state holiday to plant trees. It was called Arbor Day because the word “arbor” is the Latin translation for tree.
The state of Nebraska held its first Arbor Day in April, 1872. In order to encourage the planting of trees, awards were given out. Residents caught on to the holiday and it became widely popular. Nebraska’s governor declared April 10th as Arbor Day in 1874, but the date changed a few times. Just a short time later, Arbor Day was changed to commemorate Morton’s birthday on April 22nd.
During the environmental movement of the 1960s, citizens from across the United States took up the premise of Arbor Day. Not only were Morton’s original observances about trees correct, but the nation also learned more about the impacts that trees pose to the atmosphere. In 1970, President Nixon declared a national observance of Arbor Day for the final Friday of every April.
Nebraska changed the date yet again in 1989 to fall on the last Friday of April, which falls in the line with the date of national observance originally ordered by Nixon.
Symbols and Observances
Despite the date of observance of National Arbor Day, the exact date can vary by state. Most states, including Nebraska, continue to observe the holiday on the last Friday in April. Still, other states celebrate Arbor Day during other times of the year because new trees do not plant well in certain climates during the month of April. Furthermore, the planting of native trees is encouraged on Arbor Day, which may not acclimate to the April climate. Some states, such as Florida, observe the holiday as early as January, while others, such as South Carolina, commence Arbor Day planting as late in the year as December.
The Arbor Day Foundation’s date of observance coincides with that of Nebraska’s. This holiday is now also celebrated in countries around the world with various dates. Examples include China, South Africa, Italy, Egypt, Australia, Israel and Mexico.
The universal Arbor Day symbol is a simple tree. Some groups choose to showcase their state trees as a symbol for the holiday. Perhaps the most recognizable symbol is that of the Arbor Day Foundation’s, which is simply a green circle surrounding a tree of the same color.
Types of Celebrations
The most popular way to celebrate Arbor Day is to plant a new tree. Whether you want to plant seeds or harvest a young tree in your yard, any contribution is great to the green cause. Other participants utilize Arbor Day as an opportunity to add more trees to already-flourishing gardens.