Skip to main content


Veterans' Day

November 11th is Veterans' Day and SMA cadets all participate, along with the board of directors, faculty, staff, and cadet families, in a commemorative march down Sarasota's Main Street. Veterans' Day recognizes all veterans who have served in any branch of the United States Armed Services. It is a time to show SMA's appreciation and patriotism for our country and for those who serve to guard and protect our freedom.

Here is a little background about this holiday:

"The establishment of Veterans Day as a national holiday had a different purpose than Memorial day. It stems from the armistice that ended combat in World War I, Nov. 11, 1918. It honored all who had served in the U.S. Armed Forces in World War I. The holiday was officially called "Armistice Day" in 1926 and became a national holiday 12 years later.

It would probably still be known as Armistice Day had World War I, "The War to End All Wars, lived up to that nickname. A few years after the day became a national holiday, the United States entered a war — World War II — that called on more than 16.5 million American men and women to serve in the U.S. military. Of those, some 292,000 died in battle.

Representative Edwin K. Rees of Kansas proposed that Nov. 11 be set aside as an occasion to honor those who served America in all wars instead of only World War I. Shortly afterward, in 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the bill which officially changed the name of the holiday and broadened its purpose.

In 1968 a congressional law attempted to move Veterans Day to this forth Monday in October, but the original date of Nov. 11 was kept because of its historic significance.

Memorial Day and Veterans Day honor the sacrifices of innumerable individuals who sacrificed themselves to preserve the freedoms all Americans enjoy, with Memorial Day remembering those who gave their lives, and Veterans Day honoring all who served in the U.S. Armed Forces."

Source-Courtesy of the U.S. Army Military District of Washington

Memorial Day

The last Monday in May is Memorial Day and like Veterans' Day, SMA participates in a full demonstration of patriotism, respect, and honor for those men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice to guard and protect the freedoms that we Americans hold so dear.  SMA's bugler plays TAPS standing next to the a single table and chair, set in honor of the fallen soldier. The table is set with a single rose, plate, and glass. Memorial Day is reflective and quiet; a time to consider what we have today because of those who have come before, paying the ultimate price with their lives.

Here is a little background about the holiday:

"Memorial Day is the older of the two holidays, having its roots in the Civil War. First known as Decoration Day, it was instituted by former Union Army Maj. Gen. John A. Logan, to honor those who died in the armed forces. Logan, later a U.S. senator from Illinois, became the first commander-in-chief of the organization of Union veterans called the Grand Army of the Republic.

With General Orders No. 11, Logan designated May 30, 1868, "for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country" and conduct special services as circumstances permitted. "Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of free and undivided republic," he declared. He also asked that the nation renew its pledge to assist the soldier's and sailor's widows and orphans.

The general said he inaugurated the observance "with the hope it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades." The observance has continued, although now Memorial Day is observed as the last Monday of May."

Source-Courtesy of the U.S. Army Military District of Washington

Enroll at SMA
Your Journey begins here.