Armed Forces Day

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AFD 2010.jpg

Armed Forces Day is the result of an effort led by President Harry S. Truman to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of the United States of America.

On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coastguard days. The single-day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under one department—the Department of Defense. Each of the military leagues and orders was asked to drop sponsorship of its specific service day in order to celebrate the newly announced Armed Forces Day. The Army, Navy and Air Force leagues adopted the newly formed day. The Marine Corps League declined to drop support for Marine Corps Day but supports Armed Forces Day.[1]

Many countries have their own Armed Forces Day including Canada, Israel, Mexico and Vietnam. The longest known Armed Forces Day celebration has been a parade held in Bremerton, WA since 1949.[2]

It is fitting and proper that we devote one day each year to paying special tribute to those whose constancy and courage constitute one of the bulwarks guarding the freedom of this nation and the peace of the free world. -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Word to the Nation: Guard zealously your right to serve in the Armed Forces, for without them, there will be no other rights to guard. -- John F. Kennedy