The month of May is Military Appreciation Month. Appropriately celebrated on May 1st, Silver Star Banner Day honors the sacrifices of the U.S. military personnel as well as those awarded with the Silver Star.
During the early 1800s, “gallantry in action” was awarded with the Citation Star. The Citation Star was replaced with the Silver Star Medal later on. The Silver Star is awarded to those who show distinguished valor in combat. It is the third-highest decoration in the United States Armed Forces.
Silver Star Service Banner Day recognizes the sacrifices of the ill, wounded, and dying service personnel. The day also honors those awarded with the Silver Star Medal as well as their families. The tradition of the service banner with blue stars covered with threads of silver, which represented the wounded service members, began during World War I. However, it went out of use when gold and blue star service banners were adopted by the United States officially between the wars. The color silver symbolizes the gallantry of the service members and blue symbolizes hope. These two colors reinforce the message of Silver Star Service Banner Day.
Although founded in 2004 by the Silver Star Families of America (SSFOA) organization, the day was only made official in 2010. The United States House of Representatives also made May 1 Silver Star Service Banner Day. The main aim of Silver Star Families of America (SSFOA) is to evoke gratitude and respect for the sacrifices made by military veterans and members of the U.S. Armed Forces by having a Silver Star Service Banner on a window and/or a Silver Star Flag.