How did you celebrate May 1? It was designated as a special day by a lot of groups. It was Law Day—it was Met Gala Day—it was Sing Me a Song Day—and I’m sure many others.
The most important declaration was a proclamation by President Biden designating May 1, as “Loyalty Day.” This wasn’t a new designation. President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed that May 1, 1955, be observed as Loyalty Day. The U.S. Congress in 1958 made it an official recurring holiday. For 66 years every President has proclaimed May 1, as Loyalty Day.
The aim of Loyalty Day is to shine light on historic events that have led to the forming of this great nation and recognize the freedoms we enjoy.
The problem is that most people didn’t know about Loyalty Day and didn’t observe it. I don’t know of a more critical time in history where we as Americans need to reflect on what it means to be an American and to discuss and look for ways for people to express our loyalty to our heritage.
My good friend, Toby Warren, believed that May 1 should be celebrated as Loyalty Day. He put together a one-and-a-half-hour celebration at the Greater Peace Baptist Church in Opelika. The cities of Opelika and Auburn joined together to celebrate. Toby said it was the first time in history that two cities had combined for such an observance! Both mayors issued proclamations.
Toby invited eight Generals, the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, the Lee County Sheriff, important people in education and four ministers to speak for four minutes each on aspects of loyalty to America. I spoke on the importance of promoting the common good. General Burgess gave the opening challenge and Jere Beasley gave the closing argument. Jere knows how to close!
We need to spend more time studying how this nation came to be, what our forefather had in mind when they developed our Constitution and set forth principles for leadership.
Last week Pew Research reported that over two-thirds of Americans feel like you don’t need religion in order to have morality. That’s because so many people define morality as whatever they want it to be. That was not true with our forefathers.
George Washington said on September 19, 1796, “It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible. Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that our national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
John Quincy Adams, our sixth President, said on July 4, 1821, “The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: It connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government and the principles of Christianity.”
Our fourth President, James Madison, who was extremely influential in the forming of our Constitution, said, “We have staked the whole future of our new nation, not upon the power of government; far from it. We have staked the future of all our political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments.”
Will you make every day a Loyalty Day?