Basehor VFW plans show of patriotism Friday for Loyalty Day
Those driving down 155th Street through downtown Basehor on May 1 will notice the street has been lined with flags celebrating Loyalty Day.
Sponsored by the Basehor VFW Post 11499, members will use the flags as a symbol to remind citizens that freedom doesn’t come without cost.
Loyalty Day was first observed on May 1 in 1921, but it was finally made an official recurring holiday in 1958. It is set aside for citizens to reaffirm their loyalty to the United States and to recognize the freedom that we enjoy today.
“Patriotism seems to not be as prominent as it was in the past,” VFW Post Commander Phil Jenkins said. “That’s why Loyalty Day is important to the veterans and the VFW. It’s all about reaffirming our patriotism to the United States.”
The loyalty oath itself has evolved over the years, but the beginnings of the oath can be traced back to Valley Forge in 1778 during the Revolutionary War. Recent changes were made to incorporate the oath into the naturalization ceremony for new US citizens.
The oath reads:
“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of the evasion; so help me God.”
In addition to the flag display, the VFW will also sponsor an open house that day 4-7 p.m. at the Post, located at 2806 N. 155th St. Refreshments will be served and the public is invited to view displays and meet Post officers and members.
The Post achieved all-state status in 2013-2014, being just one of nine VFW posts to receive this designation. Kansas has approximately 150 VFW Posts, so this was a highly coveted honor that was achieved by Post 11499. They currently have 84 members but are always looking for new members to join the group, Jenkins said, especially those new veterans returning from southwest Asia.