Today is Armed Forces Day! This holiday honors all of the men
and women who serve our country and protect our freedom! In 1949, Louis
Johnson (the Secretary of Defense) suggested that the United States
should have a day to celebrate all of its military branches. On February
9, 1950, President Truman proclaimed the first ever Armed Forces Day.
Communities all across the country celebrate Armed Forces Day with
parades, receptions, and air shows. There is a different theme for the
event every year. Some examples of past themes include liberty, freedom,
professionalism, and security.
To celebrate Armed Forces Day, attend a local parade or reception and thank service men and women for their dedication!
Your kind of correct but kinda not quite correct at the same time. Armed forces day falls on the third saturday of May, which might be May 18th one year, but not May 18th other years. Also, The actual initiation of AFD occurred on August 31, 1949, when Truman’s Secretary of State announced the establishment of a joint Armed Forces Day to take the place of the former tradition of having separate days to honor the men and women in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force.
The following year, in 1950, the initial Armed Forces Day was celebrated on May 20th. The theme on that Saturday was the concept “Teamed for Defense” which was consistent with Harry Truman’s vision of creating a more unified department of national defense with the dual purpose of eliminating the inter-departmental rivalry and conflicts within the three military branches and eliminating duplication of effort and wasteful spending practices.In 1950, the new Department of Defense explained that Armed Forces Day was intended to help the people better understand the function and role of the military in American society, but the essential intent was to enable public recognition and appreciation of the military, and to provide a means for the public to thank men and women in uniform for their service to their country. Ironically, in June of 1950, the American military would be mustered for action as North Korean Communists attacked South Korea. However, in less than two decades, Harry Truman’s efforts to promote a natural respect and recognition of the difficult job the men and women in uniform face, there was a deeply divisive sentiment that developed within the country with regard to American veterans returning from the Vietnam War. During and long after U.S. involvement in South Vietnam, there was a severe division in public sentiment regarding the military. There was a notable difference in the public reception of returning veterans who had served in Korea and those who had served in Vietnam. Some returning Vietnam veterans were cursed and called names and spit upon as they came back to their homeland to reunite with their families and resettle into their communities.
To many Americans younger than 50, this may not seem significant, but to others it may seem surreal. It may be puzzling to some as to why such a shift in public sentiment occurred in such a short period of time. Unfortunately, the answers to such a question could fill a book. In brief, many Americans, especially young people, became confused and seriously divided over what U.S. servicemen were doing in Vietnam, and the nation became confused and unclear about what our nation was doing Vietnam.
Nonetheless, after September 11, 2001, such divisions seem to have faded. As the events in 2001, and then those in Benghazi on 9/11 last year demonstrate, the world is a dangerous place. Although residue from the dark period of the Vietnam War era still permeates the nation as there are still those with little appreciation or respect for the U.S. military in certain quarters of the country, those with some animosity and disrespect toward the nation’s military are failing to persuade the majority.
Many Americans realize that it is the U.S. Military that may be one of the major forces that can keep the chaotic and destructive forces throughout the world in check. Harry Truman wanted a reorganized military for the preservation of America’s values and to be ready to defend the nation, or to defend the friends of freedom when needed. The peril in the world was not imagined then, nor is it imagined now.
A long time ago, some years after the American Revolution, someone was quoted as saying that “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” Especially in the world today, freedom must be guarded by those who will keep the vigil. As one can consider this, it must be obvious that the most vigilant of the vigil keepers are the men and women in uniform. When they swear their oath to serve and protect the Constitution and the nation, they must know going in that they may be called upon to offer their lives for their country or the cause of freedom. This is powerful in and of itself because it is these men and women in the military who could be called upon to offer themselves in the breach between liberty and tyranny.
Ultimately, it is those vigil keepers who are called upon to offer the greatest of all sacrifices for the sake of the higher ideals of human freedom. This is essentially what America has to offer when freedom is challenged – those who are willing to lay down their lives for the sake of others. Unfortunately, the American men and women in the armed forces have been called to action again and again to help the free world fight against tyranny. The very least the nation can offer in return is genuine gratitude toward the men and women who put their lives on the line to maintain the vigil. May God bless our men and women in uniform on this Armed Forces’ Day! : )
:-) Awesome day
Thanks. Good to know.
I am proud to say that my home town, Chattanooga, Tn., still has one of the few large AFD parades in the country. The schools even get 1/2 day off to attend.
Forgot to say, they do the parade on Friday.
thanks for sharing
thank you to those who served and are serving!
great to know!
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