- THANK A HERO -
On August 31, 1949, the Secretary of Defense 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.
The first "Armed Forces Day" Saturday, May 20, 1950, was celebrated by parades, open houses, receptions, and air shows. In Washington D.C., 10,000 troops of all branches of the military, cadets, and veterans marched pass the President and his party. In New York City, an estimated 33,000 participants initiated Armed Forces Day "under an air cover of 250 military planes of all types." In the harbors across the country were the famed mothballed "battlewagons" of World War II, the Missouri, the New Jersey, the North Carolina, and the Iowa, all open for public inspection. Precision flying teams dominated the skies. All across the country, the American people joined together to honor the Armed Forces.
As we celebrate the 64th Armed Force Day this Saturday, May 17, 2014, Ronald Reagan’s words from a radio address are as fitting today as they were on the 33rd anniversary of Armed Forces Day when he spoke them:
"The men and women in our armed services are our final protection against those who wish us ill. The soldier, the sailor, the airman, and the marine in the United States and around the world are the ultimate guardians of our freedom to say what we think, go where we will, choose who we want for our leaders, and pray as we wish. Their jobs are difficult, requiring judgment, technical know-how, endurance, and in many cases exposure to danger. We ask them to put in long hours under trying conditions. Many serve far from their homes and families, prepared, if need be, to make the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. In short, they give us their all."
~ President Ronald Reagan
That is as true today as it was back in 1982.
As you go about your daily routine, please remember the sacrifice our men and women in uniform have made for our freedoms. Should you run into or see one of these heroes, show them you appreciate their service with a “Thank You” and a handshake.