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SDI Celebrates Armed Forces Day

In case you missed the memo, there are a lot of military-themed holidays in May.

There is V-E Day, the day marking the anniversary of the Allies’ defeat of Nazi Germany, and Memorial Day, a time set aside to honor our fallen heroes. So, what’s Armed Forces Day?

I’m so glad you asked! Armed Forces Day serves two purposes: Firstly, it is meant to replace the separate Army, Navy, and Air Force Days. Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day on August 31, 1949,  just a little under two years after the creation of the Department of Defense, according to the official Armed Forces Day website. The idea was that each service’s branch would come under the umbrella of the Department of Defense and signal unity under the new overarching headship. The Marine Corps League declined to drop support for Marine Corps Day, but they do support Armed Forces Day, as well.

Secondly, and more importantly, Armed Forces Day takes note of all the armed forces do for us as organizations to help keep our country safe.

“Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 1950, marks the first combined demonstration by America’s defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, towards the goal of readiness for any eventuality. It is the first parade of preparedness by the unified forces of our land, sea, and air defense,” President Harry Truman said of the first holiday.

It is, essentially, an event that showcases what we at SDI already know: Our armed forces are awesome, and the men and women that serve within them deserve respect for their work.

The day can come with some pretty serious celebration, too. As the Armed Forces Day website reports:

The first Armed Forces Day 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 past the President and his party. In Berlin, 1,000 U.S. troops paraded for the German citizens at Templehof Airfield. 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 as tracking radar were exhibited on the ground. All across the country, the American people joined together to honor the Armed Forces.

So, what do we do now?

That one’s made easy by the world in which we all currently live. Celebrations of all stripes are being trimmed down, postponed, or cancelled, and Americans are being encouraged to stay at home. Our scope for celebration is somewhat limited, but our do-gooding is not.

Thank someone serving, if you know one. If you know more than one, thank them all. Donate to those organizations that help our guardsmen, soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines do what they need to do. The USO and Fisher House Foundation are excellent examples, and they aren’t the only ones. In fact, SDI just donated $5 for every active duty military member we currently have in our student body in honor of the holiday.

Thank a veteran. Helped our armed forces community. Celebrate Armed Forces Day with us!

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