By Amanda Shore
Before 1949, there were separate days of celebration for the different branches of the military. Former Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of Armed Forces Day an August 31, 1949 because the different branches of the military had been unified into the Department of Defense.
Armed Forces Day was first celebrated on Saturday, May 20, 1950. While the theme for this day was “Teamed for Defense” and featured parades and air shows, it was also used to teach civilians about the Armed Forces, what they do and the tools they use as well as honor those in the Armed Forces. The third Sunday of May marks Armed Forces Day, and from the second Saturday in May to the third Sunday is Armed Forces Week.
Louis Johnson stated, “The heritage of freedom must be guarded as carefully in peace as it was in war. Faith, not suspicion, must be the key to our relationships. Sacrifice, not selfishness, must be the eternal price of liberty. Vigilance, not appeasement, is the byword of living freedoms. Our Armed Forces in 1950 – protecting the peace, building for security with freedom – are ‘Teamed for Defense…’” Take the time today to thank those in the Armed Forces for their service.