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Armed Forces Day

May 12, 2015

Armed Forces Day is celebrated in countries around the world in honor of each nations' military forces and their contribution to society. This year the United States Armed Forces Day falls on May 16th. Find out more about Armed Forces Day!

When, What, Where?

Armed Forces Day in the U.S. usually falls on the third Saturday of May, but in other countries they sometimes use different name and a different date for celebrating their military troops, for example in the United Kingdom and Canada it takes place in late June. Armed Forces Day celebrates the contributions of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Coast Guard during war and peace.

How it Started

In August 1949 Louis Johnson, the United States Secretary of Defense, decided that instead of celebrating the navy, the army and the airforce on separate days it would be better for everyone to feel included in the same celebration. Originally the day was also to help the public understand what the daily life of a military officer looked like and a way to show case new technology, and offer open houses, parades and festivals. The first official Armed Forces Day took place in 1950. By 1962 it was declared an official holiday by President John F. Kennedy.

How Do You Celebrate?

In many cities and towns the military forces will hold “support the troops” motorcycle rides, local parades, military displays (like air shows) for the public and educational activities for kids. Often there will be patriotic or military themed music playing, like “Taps”, the bugle call played at flag ceremonies and memorials.

Have Your Say

How will you be celebrating Armed Forces Day? Let us know in the comments section below!



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