Emma Ko, a senior, home school, was selected as the first runner-up from four orators in the American Legion Department of Texas Oratorical Contest in San Antonio on Monday, February 21, 2022. She is the second orator since Post 178 was chartered in 2014 to compete for the state title.
Previously, she was selected a winner in the Post 178 contest in Frisco, the 4th District contest in Royce City, and the 1st Division contest in Denton. For winning those three contests, she received scholarships totaling $3,500. Including her $1,500 scholarship for being selected as first runner-up, Ms. Ko has earned scholarships totaling $5,000.
If for any reason the winner is unable to compete in the national contest, Ms. Ko as the department first runner-up may be substituted for the winner in Indianapolis, Indiana in March.
President’s Day, formally known as Washington’s Birthday, is a United States federal holiday that celebrate all U.S. presidents (past and present) specifically George Washington (born on February 22), the first President of the United States.
President’s Day dates to the year 1800, following the death of President George Washington in 1799. His birthday on February 22 became a significant day of remembrance. At the time, Washington was recognized as the most important figure in American history.
While Washington’s Birthday was unofficially observed for most of the 1800s, it was not until the late 1885 that it became a federal holiday for the entire country. The shift from Washington’s Birthday to Presidents’ Day began in the late 1960s when Congress proposed a measure known as the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. This law sought to shift the celebration of several federal holidays from specific dates to a series of predetermined Mondays. The act was passed in 1968 and officially took effect in 1971. Traditionally President’s Day is viewed as a time of patriotic celebration and remembrance about the accomplishments of United States’ presidents, specifically focusing on the lives of Washington and Lincoln.
February 19 is the official birthday of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Officially set-up in the late 1930s as a “civilian reserve” operation, it was non-military in nature. The Coast Guard Reserve Act of 1941 set up the Coast Guard Reserve.
Although the agency is small, by comparison with its Air Force and Army Reserve counterparts it is an especially important day to those who serve, their families, and loved ones. Coast Guard Reservists contribute to the national response to terrorism, disasters, and more, and provide valuable expeditionary support to the Department of Defense through eight Port Security Units. Reserve personnel have been activated to support 12 hurricane and six major flood operations, and 1,650 Reservists participated in Operations Desert Shield/Storm.
The Coast Guard was formed in 1790 as one of America’s five armed forces. It is a multi-mission, maritime, military service with responsibility for protecting the public, the environment, and U.S. economic interests in the nation’s waterways, along the coast, on international waters, or in any maritime region as required to support national security.
Valentine’s Day, also known as St. Valentine’s Day, is celebrated today. It is a tradition honored by many Americans and their families uniformed and civilian. There is no definitive origin story to single out the one true inspiration for the holiday, but according to one legend, a priest named Valentine, who is thought to have written letters from prison signed, “From your Valentine” to a woman he befriended, who happened to be his jailer’s daughter.
Other accounts exist but the date of February 14th began its association with romantic gestures around the 14th century. The earliest Valentine messages were sent in the 1500s. By the 1700s printed cards were used to convey messages of love. The United States version of cards showing up in history began in the 1800s.
February 14th is not a national holiday, but for military families, it is a day that can be bittersweet due to deployments, TDYs, and permanent change of station moves. All those things typically signify some form of family separation and loved one’s separation, and for those still “at home” while a service member performs their duty on the 14th, it takes some creativity to celebrate and try to maintain that feeling of togetherness despite being physically distant.
When physical separation exists because of military service, one can use Zoom calls or other video conferencing to be together. But it does not have to end there–gifts and care packages can also be sent to the servicemember to narrow the distance.
February 4th is the 81st birthday of the United Service Organizations or USO. The USO has been a fixture in military life since 1941. The agency is a private, not-for-profit organization that works in cooperation with the Department of Defense. It provides live entertainment and other programs to members of the United States Armed Forces and their families. It is congressionally chartered, but not a government agency. It relies heavily on private contributions and on funds, goods, and services from various corporate and individual donors.
Founded during World War II, the USO sought to be the GI’s “home away from home” and began a tradition of entertaining the troops that continues today. In 2011, the USO was awarded the National Medal of Arts. The USO has over 200 locations around the world in 14 countries (including the United States) and 27 states. In 2016, It was estimated that it had served more than 35 million Americans over its history. To donate, go to uso.org/donate.