Standing alongside other national days to salute the defenders of our nation like Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day, today is Armed Forces Day—widely celebrated by honoring the people who serve our nation’s Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard.
Celebrated annually on the third Saturday in May, Armed Forces Day brings big parades and local gatherings, military displays in open public areas, airshows, as well as educational activities that teach children all about the armed forces.
Before Armed Forces Day existed, each ‘Armed Force’ had its own separate day. There was Army Day and Air Force Day, Navy Day and so on. It wasn’t until August 31, 1949 (the day my father turned two) when the United States’ Secretary of Defense joined all the separate military days to create Armed Forces Day.
The next year on May 20 of 1950, people nationwide celebrated the first Armed Forces. The idea behind Armed Forces Day is to celebrate the unification among all forces of the American military as they all act under one department of the government, the Department of Defense. “Teamed for Defense” was the theme for the first Armed Forces celebration which became quite a success.
Since its first celebration, Armed Forces Day has always heavily relied on public involvement; it was initially intended as a day to increase public awareness and understanding of the different types of positions that are held in the military forces as well as the part that the military plays in regular, everyday, noncombatant life.
From displaying cutting-edge equipment to hosting open houses, civilian life has always been the most important aspect about Armed Forces Day.
And so, on behalf of every civilian that works here at Everything Summer Camp, I’d like to say thank you to every single one of our nation’s Armed Forces for their service and protection to our country.