** Meetings currently suspended due to COVID-19 **
Meetings would be held on the Second Wednesday of each Month, 6:00pm, at Sonoma Veterans Memorial Building.
126 First Street West, Sonoma, CA 95476
Loyalty Day is observed on May 1 in the United States. It is a day set aside for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom.
The holiday was first observed in 1921, during the First Red Scare. It was originally called “Americanization Day,”and it was intended to replace the May 1 (“May Day”) celebration of the International Workers’ Day which commemorates the 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago.
During the Second Red Scare, it was recognized by the U.S. Congress on April 27, 1955, and made an official reoccurring holiday on July 18, 1958 (Public Law 85-529).President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1955, the first observance of Loyalty Day. In 1958, Eisenhower urged Congress to move Child Health Day to the First Monday in October, to avoid conflicting with Loyalty Day. Loyalty Day has been recognized with an official proclamation every year by every president since its inception as a legal holiday in 1958.
The Army’s Birthday: 14 June 1775
When the American Revolution broke out, the rebellious colonies did not possess an army in the modern sense. Rather, the revolutionaries fielded an amateur force of colonial troops, cobbled together from various New England militia companies. They had no unified chain of command, and although Artemas Ward of Massachusetts exercised authority by informal agreement, officers from other colonies were not obligated to obey his orders. The American volunteers were led, equipped, armed, paid for, and supported by the colonies from which they were raised.
In the spring of 1775, this “army” was about to confront British troops near Boston, Massachusetts. The revolutionaries had to re-organize their forces quickly if they were to stand a chance against Britain’s seasoned professionals. Recognizing the need to enlist the support of all of the American seaboard colonies, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress appealed to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia to assume authority for the New England army. Reportedly, at John Adams’ request, Congress voted to “adopt” the Boston troops on June 14, although there is no written record of this decision. Also on this day, Congress resolved to form a committee “to bring in a draft of rules and regulations for the government of the Army,” and voted $2,000,000 to support the forces around Boston, and those at New York City. Moreover, Congress authorized the formation of ten companies of expert riflemen from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, which were directed to march to Boston to support the New England militia.
George Washington received his appointment as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army the next day, and formally took command at Boston on July 3, 1775.
John R. Maass
US Army Center of Military History
Flag Day –
In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. The United States Army also celebrates the U.S. Army Birthdays on this date; Congress adopted “the American continental army” after reaching a consensus position in the Committee of the Whole on June 14, 1775.
The Marine Forces Reserve (MARFORRES or MFR) (also known as the United States Marine Corps Reserve (USMCR) and the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve) is the reserve force of the United States Marine Corps. It is the largest command in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Marine Forces Reserve is the headquarters command for approximately 40,000 Reserve Marines and 184 Reserve Training Centers located throughout the United States. The mission of Marine Forces Reserve is to augment and reinforce active Marine forces in time of war, national emergency or contingency operations, provide personnel and operational tempo relief for the active forces in peacetime, and provide service to the community (for example, through Toys for Tots).
The United States Marine Corps Reserve was established when Congress passed the Naval Appropriations Act of 29 August 1916 and is responsible for providing trained units and qualified individuals to be mobilized for active duty in time of war, national emergency or contingency operations. Marine forces Reserve also provides personnel and operational tempo relief for active component forces in peacetime.
MARFORRES comprises two groups of Marines and Sailors. The first, known as the Selected Marine Corps Reserve (SMCR), are Marines who belong to reserve units and drill one weekend a month and two weeks a year. The second group is known as the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). The IRR is composed of Marines who have finished their active duty or USMCR obligations, however their names remain on record to be called up in case of a war or other emergency – the Individual Ready Reserve is administered by the Marine Corps Individual Reserve Support Activity. IRR Marines participate in annual musters to check in with the Corps. Reserve Marines are equipped and trained to the same standards as active Marine forces.
The Coast Guard is one of America’s five armed forces and traces its founding to Aug. 4, 1790, when the first Congress authorized the construction of 10 vessels to enforce tariff and trade laws, prevent smuggling, and protect the collection of federal revenue. Responsibilities added over the years included humanitarian duties such as aiding mariners in distress.
The service received its present name in 1915 when the Revenue Cutter Service merged with the U.S. Life-Saving Service to form a single maritime service dedicated to the safety of life at sea and enforcing the nation’s maritime laws.
The Coast Guard is a multi-mission, maritime, military service and the smallest of the five Armed Services. Its mission is to protect the public, the environment and U.S. economic interests in the nation’s waterways, along the coast, on international waters, or in any maritime region as required to support national security.
PURPLE HEART DAY
During the American Revolutionary War, the Badge for Military Merit decorated six known soldiers. Purple Heart Day on August 7 commemorates the creation of the oldest American military decoration for military merit, the Purple Heart and honors the men and women who are of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
Created by General George Washington in 1782 to be presented to soldiers for “any singularly meritorious action”, the decoration was a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk bound with a thin edge of silver and the word Merit embroidered in silver across the face.
It is unknown who designed the Badge of Merit. It is also unknown how many soldiers may have received the honor symbolizing the courage and devotion of an American Patriot. According to The Badge of Military Merit by Professor Ray Raymond, The “Book of Merit” where the names of possible recipients and their deeds were recorded has long been missing. According to the Badge of Military Merit by Professor Ray Raymond,
Until Washington’s 200th birthday, the Purple Heart remained a Revolutionary War footnote. Through the efforts of General Douglas MacArthur, the U.S. War Department created the Order of the Purple Heart. Today the medal bears a bust of George Washington and his coat of arms.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Honor everyone you know that has received a Purple Heart. Learn more about the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Use #PurpleHeartDay to post on social media and inform others to do so as well.
Since 1932, Purple Heart Day has been celebrated on various days. Sometimes commemorated on Washington’s birthday, other times on Valentine’s Day or at other times declared during the year in different cities and states across the country. Each declaration encouraged citizens to support wounded veterans with the purchase of a purple viola. Purple Heart Day recognizes not only the merit but more importantly the men and women killed and wounded in combat who have earned the badge of honor. As the day evolved it more commonly was observed on the day the Purple Heart was created. In 2014, the Military Order of the Purple Heart recognized this with a media release.