National Military Appreciation Month Celebrations and Events 

Posted: May, 1, 2020 | Categories: Atlantic Builders


National Military Appreciation Month Celebrations and Events 

This year, celebrations and festivities surrounding National Military Appreciation Month will look different compared to years past. Normally a fun-filled month, May brings American communities together to find joy in the company of family and friends while reflecting on the contributions and sacrifices of military men, women, and their families throughout our country’s history. 

As we all adjust to social distancing guidelines to protect our loved ones from Covid-19, it's a poignant time to take a moment to review the reasons May was chosen to appreciate and remember military service. 

The late Senator, John McCain, brought to Congress formal legislation in 1999 which designated May as National Military Appreciation Month. The intention was to gather significant, yet individual events, throughout the month, under one declaration of gratitude and honor. 


May 1 - Loyalty Day 

Congress declared in 1958, “Loyalty Day is a special day for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom.” Traditionally, ceremonies are held in public schools and government buildings and flags are displayed throughout the country. 

May 8 - VE, or Victory Day in Europe 

This day celebrates the end of WWII on the European front in 1945. Because this year marks the 75th anniversary, significant celebrations and events were planned across the globe. Most will be conducted virtually or postponed. 

May 8 - Military Spouse Appreciation Day

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan recognized the sacrifices and endless support given by military spouses and  proclaimed May 8 as Military Spouse Day. Later, Congress included the event into National Military Appreciation Month. 

May 16 - Armed Forces Day

Current and former living service members of all military branches are celebrated for their dedication and patriotism. In years past, public and private organizations often expand this observation into a week-long event with upbeat ceremonies and celebrations. 

May 25 - Memorial Day

This is the solemn holiday Americans reserve to remember veterans who have died during military service. Parades, family gatherings, and graveside memorials were normal occurrences.  This year, the public is asked to pause at 3:00 PM local time for a moment of reflection. 


More military-related observances in May:

  • Month of the Military Caregiver
  • 1st: Silver Star Service Banner Day
  • 13th: Children of Fallen Patriots Day 


Previously, we have all taken time to commemorate these events with public events, backyard barbeques, and out of town vacations. Today, we are all challenged to find meaningful and heartening ways to celebrate safely.

Take a look at some of the creative experiences that celebrate National Military Appreciation Month happening online, or near you. 



Experience Arlington National Cemetery from Home

The cemetery is closed, but offers multiple ways to pay respect to fallen service members while learning the history of the sacred place through virtual tours. 

Patriot Pet Just Say Treat Photo Contest May 1-31

Enter a picture of your pet to win Exchange gift cards.

Blue Star Families Virtual Parks to Kids Day May 16

Choose from 11 national parks including the Grand Canyon to tour virtually with a Zoom link. Times vary according to park location. 

United Through Reading READiness 365 Launch May 20

The new app puts a Story Station in every military home, connecting families across the globe. Register for the event and receive a free book.


Discounts and Giveaways 

MilitaryBridge and Nixplay Giveaway May 1-31

The companies are partnering to connect military families through digital photography. They’re giving away three cloud based Nixplay Smart Photo Frames. 

Nominate a Milspouse to Receive Free Coffee at Starbucks May 1-7

As part of military spouse appreciation events, Blue Star Families and Starbucks are teaming up to send gift cards to deserving milspouses. 

Military Spouse Mother’s Day Giveaway May 5-9

Military Spouse magazine is sponsoring an event that treats milspouse moms to a collection of custom prizes. At the same time, the giveaway showcases military spouse owned companies. 

Mission BBQ Armed Forces Week May 5-11

The company is offering a free sandwich for servicemembers of each branch. Curbside pickup or take out. 


Learn more at


National Military Appreciation Month Celebrations and Events 

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