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Just because the Fourth of July is over doesn't mean we, as a nation, don't have any more patriotic holidays to celebrate. August is full of military holidays that deserve our salute because these are days that represent significant milestones in our country's history. Learn more about these August military holidays, from their origins to how to observe them, below!
All of August: Antiterrorism Month
The entire month of August is dedicated to Antiterrorism Awareness Month. This awareness month was designed to raise recognition toward the threat of terrorism and encourage communication and observance of potential threats to report them properly.
August 4: Coast Guard Day
On this day, we celebrate Coast Guard Day. In 1790, then-Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, commemorated the Revenue Marine's founding, or as we now call them, the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard has been officially operating under the Department of Homeland Security authority and is dedicated to enforcing maritime laws and regulations and being committed to saving many lives at sea.
Active and retired Coast Guardsmen typically celebrate coast Guard Day, along with civilian employees and Coastie dependents. Coast Guard units across the country celebrate with picnics and organized sporting competitions, while a large Coast Guard Festival is held every year in Grand Haven, Michigan.
August 7: Purple Heart Day
The Purple Heart is a symbolism of bravery, first created on August 7 of 1782 by General George Washington. Receiving a Purple Heart is an honor given to military personnel who have been wounded, captured as prisoners of war, or fighting against certain types of domestic terrorism.
August 12: National Spirit of '45 Day
Keep the Spirit of '45 alive! Spirit of '45 Day is observed on the second weekend of August, every year. This military holiday coincides with the anniversary of August 14, 1945. This was the day President Harry S. Truman announced that Japan had surrendered the war. Spontaneous celebrations broke out worldwide from the news. The most destructive war in history was finally over, and America wasted no time in rebuilding a foundation to better our country's future.
August 14: National Navajo Code Talkers Day
During WWII, America's military quickly realized it needed to find a better way to speak in code. The machines in use during that time were useless in the Pacific Theater. So the Army enlisted the help of Indigenous Americans who could speak their local, original dialects. These Navajo Code Talkers translated secret messages into their own languages and sent them abroad. Japanese military could hear the messages, but they couldn't translate them. Code Talkers helped change the Pacific Theater and are ultimately responsible for saving thousands of lives. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan declared August 14 to be National Navajo Code Talkers Day for their service.
August 16: National Airborne Day
National Airborne Day honors the nation's airborne divisions and paratroopers of the Armed Forces, created by George W. Bush in 2001. The first successful jump took place on August 16, 1940, at Ft. Benning, Georgia. This jump paved the way for United States troops to enter behind enemy lines by way of the parachute.
August 29: Marine Corps Reserve Birthday
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Naval Appropriations Act, which established the Marine Corps Reserve. Currently, there are around 40,000 Reserve Marines and 184 training centers in the U.S.
As much as our military does for our country, every branch deserves its own celebration. We might not light off fireworks or have parades for each holiday, but showing your honor and respect for military personal in your own way on these patriotic holidays this month is a great place to start!