The Americanism theme for 2018-2019 is, “Teaching Respect for our Country, Promoting Protection of our Flag and Preserving Patriotism and Responsible Citizenship for a better tomorrow.” In the United States Americanism can be about principles, actions, beliefs, and love and loyalty to our country and it’s veterans. So what and how can we as ALA members promote patriotism?
Share your knowledge of flag etiquette and respect to our flag in your local schools, civic groups, library, and community events. Encourage businesses, friends, and neighbors to fly a flag daily, not just on patriotic holidays. Conduct a flag retirement ceremony at your Post or other location. Order and assemble pocket flags to send to the active duty military. Ask your local, state, and federal representatives to support the flag amendment. Participate in Get Out the Vote and Kids Voting USA campaigns.
Promote the American Legion family Essay Contest working with your Legion Americanism Chairman. The theme this year for the Americanism Essay contest is, “What are my responsibilities as a U.S. Citizen?” Create and distribute packets with the pertinent information (i.e.. rules, deadlines, etc.) to your local schools including the special education classes, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, home schooled families, your own children/grandchildren, and encourage military youth to participate. The National ALA Essay theme this year is, “How can we address and prevent veteran homelessness in our communities?” The rules and deadline can be found on the National website.
Work with your Post to promote and support the American Legion Programs. These are American Legion baseball. Volunteer to help keep the statistics, give a monetary donation, or work the concession booth. Another program is the Junior Shooting Stars which promotes gun safety and marksmanship. Offer to help with refreshments, transportation, and act as a supervisor. The last program is the Oratorical Contest. Volunteer to be a judge or timekeeper, again help with refreshments, recruit participants, or maybe be a host.
My Department Awards and Personal Awards will be in the Fall mailing to Unit Presidents and also can be found in the September ALA Today. They are as follows: Ricky’s Country Girls Americanism Plaque to the Unit submitting the most outstanding participation on promoting the Americanism Program to the schools, the Doris Schultz “God Bless America” Plaque to the Unit for the best overall participation in the Americanism Program, $5.00 and a certificate of appreciation to the runner-up of the Ricky’s Country Girls Americanism Plaque, $5.00 and a certificate of appreciation to the runner-up of the Doris Schultz “God Bless America” Plaque, and $10.00 to the Unit with the best participation in the Essay Contest.
District Presidents, remember to contact your Units by the 30th of November for their mid-year report of all the great things they have done since August. I need you to have a narrative report to me by December 21st. I need to get my mid year report in by January 5, 2019.
Remember to utilize both the Department and National websites for additional valuable information on Americanism. Note the resource sites too.
I would like to conclude with this quote from Adlai Stevenson, “Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.