May 30th Memorial Day

What used to be Decoration Day starting in right after the Civil War in 1865 to honor the fallen soldiers of the war, both in the north and the south, but was changed by Congress in 1882 to Memorial Day. Just as the people of the Civil War remembered those who died in the Revolution and War of 1812, today we need to remember those who fell in every war America has been involved in. You do not have to agree with the war or why America got involved to honor those that gave their lives protecting those around them.

How to celebrate – Remember those who died for this country. Decorate a graveyard. Visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington, D.C.

May 16th Wear Purple For Peace Day

There are always more wars going on than we know of every given day. Whether they are tribal wars in Africa or territorial wars in the Middle East, religious wars in Asia or drug wars in South America if you live in a country that is not currently at war with someone, feel very fortunate. The idea is to wear purple today showing your support for peace, it really is the very least you can do.

How to celebrate – Actively find some way to help those at war. Study where they are wars and police actions in the world today. Enjoy the peace in your country.

November 11th Veterans Day

World War 1 ended on November 11th, at 11:11 in the morning, 1918. In 1921, England, France and the United States each buried an unknown soldier to honor the date and in the US, Armistice Day was created to further honor those who paid the ultimate price. In 1954, President Eisenhower changed the meaning of the day to honor all those who served in every war America fought in. In an interesting quote by Churchill he said, “You have enemies. Good. That means you’ve stood up for something.”

How to celebrate – Thank any veteran you know or meet for their service. Visit the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Read about conflicts America has found itself involved in.

June 24th National Handshake Day

Remember back when we were allowed to shake each others hands? It was greeting similar to bumping elbows! It “Sealed the Deal” and recognized someone else was present, it introduced new friends and made peace with old enemies. In fact, the handshake came because of ones enemies. Believed to date itself back to the early days of Rome, when one confronted someone who once had been an enemy they offered the hand of friendship showing they had no sword, or other weapon, in their hand ready to strike. Today was created by Miryam Roddy sometime around 2005 while working for Brody Professional Development in Jenkintown, Pa.

How to celebrate – Look for pictures of people shaking hands so you can remember what it was like. Learn the new ways to shake hands (By not using hands). Wear rubber gloves so you can shake hands.

February 11th National Inventors Day

Today was created by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 on Thomas Edison’s birthday. Imagine life without any inventions. We would still be living in caves (although we may end up there again). Think about everything you have and use, someone had to invent it. Unfortunately, war offers inventors more than peace. Need makes for creation and war creates more need than anything in peacetime. Who knows what we will need next? Let’s hope the inventors come up with it before we actually need it!

How To Celebrate – Invent something. Support any inventors you know. List as many inventors from the past as you can without looking.

September 2nd VJ Day WWII

There are three dates that mark the end of World War 2 with the surrender of Japan. The first is August 14th, 1945 when Japan sent a cable to the US stating their intention to surrender. August 15th, when the US accepted the surrender of Japan and then September 2nd when the formal surrender of Japan occurred on the deck of the USS Missouri on September 2nd. With the surrender of Japan World War 2 officially came to an end, Germany having surrendered earlier in the year. The world’s most horrific war had come to an end though it would, in some case, take years to get all troops to stop fighting as they had not received word of the surrender themselves.

How to celebrate – Read about World War 2. Learn why it was so difficult for Japan to surrender. Discover who was a part of the Allies, and who was a part of the Axis.

July 4th Independence Day

The United States declared it’s independence in 1776, we claim the July 4th as the date it all started… that isn’t exactly true. In fact, the signers did not all sign until late September, 1776. The war itself had even started with the siege of Boston. But just like every holiday we have had to assign a date to it so everyone can celebrate at the same time. July 4th seemed to be the best date so Independence Day is July 4th. We celebrate with parades, fireworks and remembering our forefathers. Fortunately the revolution worked and we are the land of the free. And guess who our best friends in the world are… the country we broke from.

How to celebrate – Rejoice on the 4th of July. Be proud to be an American. Read about the revolution.

November 21st World Hello Day

It’s funny what comes out of war sometimes. Not that war is funny but people often come up with things they may not otherwise think of. During the Civil War, among other things, it was instant coffee. The Revolutionary War gave us a whole new country! And the War between Egypt and Israel in 1973, it was Hello Day. Brian and Michael McCormack decided that maybe if we greeted ten people each with a “hello” we might eventually achieve Global Peace. Well, things haven’t exactly gone that way, the thought is good, but only if everyone participates. Have you been doing your part?

How to celebrate – Say hello to at least ten people. Try saying hello to people in ten different countries! Learn how to say hello in ten different languages.

November 21st World Hello Day

Today was created by Brian and Michael McCormack in an effort to show how much better the world could be if we all just stopped and said hello to each other. It was 1973 and war was raging between Egypt and Israel and the idea was “greet ten people for peace”.

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I think, for what it’s worth, that saying hello to everyone you see is a great idea. It certainly doesn’t cost you much and who knows what you might find out about someone else, and yourself, by simply saying hello.

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I watch most people walk around with their heads down, refusing to look up and make eye contact with another person. Maybe it’s because they said hello to someone, or looked someone int the eye and something went wrong. Or maybe we are afraid they might want something from us.

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Take the handshake. It came out of ancient days when a friendship was forged with an enemy, or possible enemy. One would extend their hand showing they had no weapon in it, the other would do the same. Far too often today the handshake begins the problems. We look at the person we are shaking hands with as someone who should give their all for our cause… not just to show they aren’t going to try and kill us. Maybe we are looking for too much.

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I wonder how many simple “hellos” might lead us to something more if we just tried. After all, every friend you have today started with a… “hello”.

How to celebrate – Say hello to at least ten people today. (Better strangers than friends you have already) Say hello to someone you haven’t talked to in years. Learn “hello” in several languages and great people with their native language.

May 19th Armed Forces Day

Today we celebrate those branches of military service that have served our country since it began. The day was created by Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson on August 31, 1949. It was signed into law by President Harry Truman on February 20, 1950. Finally beginning to be celebrated later that same year on May 19th.

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Prior to today, each branched celebrate their own birthdays, such as the US Army who formed in 1775. Obviously they were around for the American Revolution and have served as the main battle force ever since.

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The Navy formed the same year since the Revolutionary  War took to the seas as well as on land. Ill prepared, the US Navy did a tremendous job with the few ships they had in service.

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The Marines formed as well in 1775, serving primarily aboard the ships as sharpshooters and landing forces. Since then the Marines have been the first to arrive in nearly every military engagement America has been involved in.

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To many people’s surprise, the US Air Force did not form in 1947. Prior to that it was a part of the US Army. Today it is a major strike force and a very deterrent defense against aggressors. During World War 2 the air force (Army) were among the few forces that could actually win against the mighty German Tiger tanks.

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And far too often forgotten is the US Coast Guard. These men and women are known more for saving lives on the seas but it is their job to protect our borders from drugs, other illegal substances and invaders. While the US Navy is charged with foreign service it is the Coast Guard who keep watch at home.

How to celebrate – Thank those who serve, and have served, in our military forces. Study the history of each branch more closely. Be proud to be an American.