VERNON - While May 1 is celebrated around the world as May Day, Americans mark the first day of May with Loyalty day. In the spirit of this day, the VFW post 8441 in Vernon honored three Americans with their annual Loyalty Day Awards. This year there were over 70 nominees, and the winners were picked by a panel of independent judges. The three winners were Dr. Carol Nelson for her work as principal of Glen Meadow Middle School, Barbara Spree for her true American spirit and William Munck, a WWII veteran, who won because of an essay submitted by his granddaughter. "This award is meant for any and every American who demonstrates what good citizenship is all about," said William Heaney, the post's Americanism chairman. The concept of Loyalty Day began in the early 1930s to counteract the May Day communist exhibitions and prevent the growth of communism in America. However, it wasn't until 1949 that, thanks to the efforts of Senator Karl Mundt of North Dakota and Representative James E. VanZant of Pennsylvania, May 1 was proclaimed Loyalty Day. On May 1, 1958 President Dwight D. Eisenhower finally made it a day of national observance. "I am very honored to accept this special award," said Nelson, who received the most nominations of anyone. Eleanor Munck accepted the award on behalf of her husband William who was unable to attend. Each recipient received a bronze citizenship medal, a framed certificate and a pledge of allegiance flag.