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10 reasons to love the month of June

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It's time to welcome the month of June, a month filled with special days and lots of fun celebrations. You can find information about special dates and holidays at Apples4theTeacher.com.

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The top reason to love the month of June is Father's Day, which is always celebrated on the third Sunday in June. Families celebrate Father's Day in many different ways. Some families get together for a big extended family lunch or dinner.

Other families enjoy a quiet day at home together, go on a picnic or go out for a meal at a local restaurant. Many people who live far from their dads will call or send a gift or a greeting card on Father's Day.

Dads play an important role in the lives of their children. Father's Day is a day to celebrate the special relationship between father figures and the children they love.

June is Great Outdoors Month, a month dedicated to celebrate America's outdoor treasures. Visit your local, state or national park during June and enjoy the forests, lakes and oceans that make the outdoors the best place to be in June. Here are four special ways to celebrate the outdoors during June.

The first week of June is National Fishing and Boating Week. Visit TakeMeFishing.org to find a listing of free fishing dates during the week of June 1-8.

The first Wednesday in June is National Running Day. Runners all around the country will meet this year on June 4 to run on local trails and through neighborhoods. Join a run in your neighborhood or start your own run. Running promotes good physical and emotional health and reduces stress.

The American Hiking Society celebrates National Trails Day on June 7. Join an outdoor event in your area. National Trails Day events include hikes, biking and horseback rides, paddling trips, birdwatching, geocaching, gear demonstrations, stewardship projects and more.

Celebrate the outdoors during June by participating in the Great American Backyard Campout. Since 2005, families and individuals have joined in the camping fun on the fourth Saturday in June. This year's Great American Backyard Campout will be held June 28 as part of Great Outdoors Month. Camp in your own backyard or join a community event at a state or local park in your area.

Seventy years ago, our Allied Forces stormed the troops of Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Each year, people around the world observe the solemn anniversary of D-Day. The National D-Day Memorial, located in Bedford, Va., has special activities planned to mark the day including a parade and concert on June 7 and a ceremony at 11 a.m. on June 6 to honor those who put their lives on the line in freedom's name.

On June 14, 1777, Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the flag of our country. Each year, we celebrate Flag Day on June 14 by displaying the American flag at businesses and homes. The American flag represents freedom and is flown as a symbol of hope, endurance and unity after natural and man-made disasters. Make plans now to fly your American Flag June 8-14 during National Flag Week.

Juneteenth is celebrated in many states on June 19 each year. This is the date Union soldiers freed all remaining slaves in Texas in 1865. Annual celebrations are held in parks and communities across the country.

The summer solstice is celebrated on June 21 in the northern hemisphere. This is the day with the longest period of daylight each year. Plan a summer solstice backyard party for family and friends to celebrate.

In addition to these 10 reasons to love June, it's also a great month for chocolate. Some of the special chocolate dates this month include National Chocolate Ice Cream Day on June 7, National Fudge Day on June 21 and National Chocolate Pudding Day on June 26.

June also holds many religious celebrations including Shavuot on June 4, a Jewish celebration of the harvest; Pentecost on June 8, a Christian celebration of the descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus' disciples; Trinity Sunday on June 15, a Christian celebration of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; Corpus Christi on June 19, a Christian feast commemorating the Last Supper; and the beginning of Ramadan on June 29, an Islamic time of self-examination and devotion.

June is one of the best months of the year. School's out, the weather's great and there's plenty of time to enjoy making family memories. Make this your best June ever with your family.

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