Today, May 16, 2020 is Armed Forces Day. It is a day to pay tribute to the men and women who serve the United States’ Armed Forces.
Today, typically there are many events across the United States to honor Americans in uniform who serve their country in times of war and peace – although some of these large parades and other local celebrations may be cancelled due to the Coronavirus.
Armed Forces Day is celebrated the third Saturday in May (Military Appreciation Month), along with Memorial Day and Military Spouse Appreciation Day.
On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days. The single-day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under one department — the Department of Defense.
It was a day for the military to show “state-of- the-art” equipment to the civilian population they were protecting. And it was a day to honor and acknowledge the people of the Armed Forces of the United States.
According to a New York Times article published on May 17, 1952: “This is the day on which we have the welcome opportunity to pay special tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces … to all the individuals who are in the service of their country all over the world. Armed Forces Day won’t be a matter of parades and receptions for a good many of them. They will all be in line of duty and some of them may give their lives in that duty.”
Especially today and this month, take time to express your appreciation for the men and women in uniform who have sacrificed in order to preserve freedom and protect our the United States of America. It is most appropriate that these brave individuals are honored, and that we create a special day for them.
To the brave men and women, past and present, who are members of the Armed Forces of the United States of America, we salute you.
Not just today, in this month of May, on Armed Forces Day. We appreciate you every day. We think of you often.
You make us proud.
Thank you for your service. Today, and every day.