Several nations of the world hold an annual Armed Forces Day to recognize, venerate, and honor their military forces. It is similar to the Veterans Day of the United States or the Remembrance Day in many other nations. In the United States, Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May. This day was created on August 31, 1949 and first ever celebration was on May 20, 1950. President Harry S. Truman was instrumental in establishing this day to thank the military and their families for their services. It was a result of the consolidation of the military services in the Department of Defense. It was intended to replace the separate Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Days, but observance of these days, especially within each particular service, continues to this day.
The US Department of Defense is the biggest employer of the Unites States with 2.3 million people serving and 1.8 million people on active duty. It owns nearly 30 million acres of land worldwide and are the single largest consumer of energy.
Quick Facts: –
• The longest running official Armed Forces Day Parade is in Washington.
• 31 of the 45 presidents have served in the military. President Theodore Roosevelt earned the Medal of Honor, the highest honor in the military.
• Many events take place across the US on Armed Forces Day to honor military personnel.
• The theme for the very first Armed Forces Day celebration was ‘Teamed for Defense’.
• B-36 bombers flew over the capitols of every US state during the first Armed Forces Day celebration.
• President John F. Kennedy made this a national holiday by issuing Proclamation 3399 on March 18, 1961.
• It is a tradition to fly the American flag on this day’s celebration.
• Different military exercises are held at sea, in the air and on land on this day. It is a way to show the civilian the state-of-the-art equipment.
• Various activities on this day include parades, receptions and air shows.