(91) Armed Forces Day

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Tomorrow, Saturday, May 16, is Armed Forces Day, honoring the men and women who serve and protect our country. This day was declared on August 31, 1949, to replace separate national days for the Army, Air Force, and Navy (the Marines declined to give up their day but also celebrate Armed Forces Day). The Department of Defense declared the third Saturday of May each year to acknowledge the unity of our Armed Forces and recognize the men and women, who fight and serve to protect our freedoms.

The DoD website offers a more detailed story of the origin of the day. I would like to share with our readers some of the quotes rendered for this day.

“It is our most earnest hope that those who are in positions of peril, that those who have made exceptional sacrifices, yes, and those who are afflicted with plain drudgery and boredom, may somehow know that we hold them in exceptional esteem. Perhaps if we are a little more conscious of our debt of honored affection they may be a little more aware of how much we think of them.

New York Times, May 17, 1952

“Our Servicemen and women are serving throughout the world as guardians of peace–many of them away from their homes, their friends and their families. They are visible evidence of our determination to meet any threat to the peace with measured strength and high resolve. They are also evidence of a harsh but inescapable truth–that the survival of freedom requires great cost and commitment, and great personal sacrifice.”

President John F. Kennedy, 1963

Miss Molly’s favorite quote (she is such a patriot):Molly kisses William with a flag

“Armed Forces Day, above all, honors the dedicated individuals who wear the uniforms of their country. Each serviceman, wherever he may be, whatever his task, contributes directly and importantly to the defense of the nation. The task of each one is the task of all the Armed Forces: to protect the freedoms which underlie the greatness of America.”

General Earle G. Wheeler, 1967

Former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

Don’t be shy in telling any member of the Armed Forces, “thank you for your service and sacrifices.” They will appreciate your acknowledgement. After all, these individuals lay down their lives for us every day in ways we cannot imagine.

Molly’s Take on Armed Forces Day

Molly cannot tell me her thoughts because her tongue is too floppy to enunciate the words. Her paws are too big to type—one paw covers my entire keyboard. If she could type or talk, I believe she would express excitement that one day, every member of the Armed Forces will be a Veteran and we all know how much she loves Veterans! So, if you do see one of our national heroes in uniform, give them a sloppy kiss and a high-five for Miss Molly.

Post your Comments:

Do you have a family member, who serves in our Armed Forces? How will you recognize him/her on Armed Forces Day? Please comment below.

Photo credits: pculbrethgraft

About the blogger

Dr. Penelope “Penny” Culbreth-Graft is a retired city manager and graduate professor. She lives with her disabled Vietnam Veteran husband, William, and his service dog, Molly, on Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado. She writes, paints, cares for her husband, and spends time with her grandchildren.