CELEBRATING ARMED FORCES DAY
Armed Forces Day is a day to salute all of the men and women in all branches of the service who protect our country. It is celebrated on the third Saturday in May. This year it will be celebrated on Saturday, May 16, 2020. President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a holiday in order for citizens to unite and to honor our military heroes for their patriotic service in support of the United States of America.
The first official Armed Forces Day took place on May 20, 1950, and was themed "Teamed for Defense." In honor of the special day, B-36 Bombers flew over state capitals, a march was led by more than 10,000 veterans and troops in Washington, D.C., and over 33,000 people participated in a New York City parade.
The first Armed Forces Day also played an essential part in educating society and expanding public knowledge of the military and the role they play in the community. Therefore, it wasn't only a means to honor those who serve or who have served in the military, but also a way to showcase its top of the line equipment and abilities used to protect those in our country.
Other countries who honor this victorious day include Armenia, Australia and New Zealand, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burma, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Guatemala, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Lebanon, Mali, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, North Korea, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
In 1961, John F. Kennedy declared Armed Forces Day a national holiday. It's celebrated by exercises, parades, and receptions that highlight and honor our amazing military and all of its strength.
Since Armed Forces Day is not a federal holiday, many military installations are available for public viewing for those wishing to take part in the celebration or to learn more about our country's military. Some other ways to celebrate the special occasion include wearing red, white, and blue, flying the American Flag, talking with or writing to a military member, donating to military-based organizations, or sending care packages for those serving overseas.
The importance of this day should always be evident. It is a day that our military members rightly deserve and it's essential that we celebrate it accordingly. So today, and every day, let's take time to show our support for our service members, military families, and veterans who keep our nation safe. And to every Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, and Coast Guardsman who serves our nation with distinction in the armed forces of the United States of America, thank you for your service as well as your sacrifices. We celebrate you!!!
Lafayette Woods, Jr.