Louis Johnson, Sec. of Defense, created Armed Forces Day to celebrate all the branches of military service in America. He created in in 1949 just after World War 2 when the Air Force separated from the Army creating the US Air Force, Navy, Army, Marines and Coast Guard as separate branches of service. Each branch has elements of the other services among themselves making certain assignments easier to coordinate but each is also separate to allow independent thought and command.
How to celebrate – Thank anyone you see in any branch of service for what they do to protect us. Study the different branches of the services. Learn why all branches are separate.
Each branch of the military celebrates the day they were created. The US Army June 14, 1775, the US Navy October 13, 1775, the Continental Marines November 10, 1775, the US Coast Guard June 28, 1915 and the US Air Force September 18, 1947. However on August 31, 1949 US Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson determined we all needed a day to honor all military service personal which was announced by President Harry Truman on February 20, 1950. It was finalized that all forces had to comply by May 20th, 1950 and this special day was named the 3rd Saturday in May. All service members deserve our thanks for all they have done, and all they will do. Combined, they make a force respected world wide, independent and yet combined in the defense of America and her allies.
How to celebrate – Thank a serviceman/woman for their service to America. Visit a military base. Learn the history of each branch of the military.
Always celebrated on the 3rd Saturday in May, Armed Forces Day is a day to honor those that serve to protect us and so that the public can get to know how those services operate. Most armed services provide a public viewing of the history of the service’s history at bases set up for the day. Today was set up by a Presidential Proclamation under Harry Truman on Feb 20th, 1950 and was first officially observed on May 20th, 1950. American armed forces include the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines (A part of the navy) and the Coast Guard. These men and women are due our respect and should be honored for their service.
How to celebrate – Visit an open base for Armed Forces Day. Thank a soldier for what they do. Read about what all the branches do to keep us safe.
August 19th National Aviation Day
Today we celebrate all those aviators that have led to our advancement in air travel and even into space. The day was created by President F. D. Roosevelt in 1939 to honor Orville Wright who was born August 19th, 1871. (Bet that didn’t make Wilbur very happy).
If you think about the world of flight it really is amazing that we have come so far in such a short time considering the belief that man was never meant to fly.
How to celebrate – Read more about the Wright Brothers. See how many famous aviators you can name. Take some flying lessons. (You never know when it may come in handy)
May 28th Memorial Day
Today we remember those who have perished in the defense of our country during their military service. It is the supreme sacrifice in order that others may live free, not something we should take lightly.
The day came after the Civil War, first known as Decoration Day when Southern families remembered their dead by placing flowers and other decoration on the graves. Since 1971 it has been known better as Memorial Day.
How to celebrate – Remember the fallen who fell for you. Visit the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Honor those who still serve in the military.
It is National Medal of Honor Day. A medal created for “personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.” Created in 1861 for the Navy, the Army soon followed with its version in 1862. An Air Force Medal of Honor was created during World War I. To date, over 3,500 Medal of Honors have been awarded to military men serving their country’s needs.
There were few medals offered prior to the American Civil War. In 1780, the Fidelity Medallion was offered to veterans of the Revolution. For those who went above the call of duty another medal was awarded in 1782, called the Badge of Military Merit. In 1847, a Certificate of Merit was awarded veterans of the Mexican-American War.
This is truly a holiday that does not get the recognition in the mainstream that it deserves. Congress declared this day a National Holiday in 1863 when the first Medal of Honor was awarded for Jacob Parrott’s actions during the Andrews Raid. Of the 24 Raiders only 6 members received this honorable distinction for their role in the “Great Locomotive Chase“. Oddly, Andrews could not receive the award since he was a civilian and the award was distinctly meant to be offered only to military personnel. Eventually the The Medal of Valor was created for civilians.
Other Medals of Honor were given out to civilians by mistake. Buffalo Bill received one that was later taken back, as well as Mary Edwards Walker, though hers was restored by Jimmy Carter in 1971.
The most recent Medal of Honor awarded was on February 29. 2016 to Edward C. Byers Jr., U.S. Navy Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator for his role in the US Navy SEAL operation ENDURING FREEDOM, freeing American hostage Dr. Dilip Joseph.
Above is the Medal of Honor flag awarded with the Medal of Honor
So in honor of this day:
Fly your American flag proudly
Visit the Great Locomotive Chase Andrew’s Raiders Monuments and Markers in person or virtually
Thank a service member or vet for all that they do or write a Thank You Letter to a Medal of Honor Recipient
Watch the Walt Disney Film the Great Locomotive Chase