Saturday, May 19, 2007
Armed Forces Day, 2007
President Harry S. Truman wanted to create one holiday for all of America’s citizens to thank our military service members for their continuing efforts on behalf of our country. At the time, the country celebrated separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days. All of our armed forces had become unified under the Department of Defense, so it seemed appropriate to have one special day.
On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of Armed Forces Day. It is celebrated on the third Saturday in May. According to the Department of Defense website:
“This is simply a day to salute sharply to all of the men and women in all branches of the service who protect our country and you. They can be called upon at a moment's notice to perform a risky and perilous mission for freedom and country. They train diligently both physically and mentally so they will be prepared to prevail in any mission they face.”
Today’s Armed Forces Day celebrations will be marked by the absence of tens of thousands of our service members. They are scattered in outposts throughout the world and engaged in brutal combat with vicious Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. At this very moment, they are risking their lives for our benefit and many are paying the ultimate price for our freedom.
I received a wonderful thank you card from my friends at "Gazing at the Flag" who do so much for our warriors and I thank them for their thoughts. I urge each of you to thank a member of the armed forces today and pray for the safety of those on the front lines in the war on terror.
SFC Chuck Grist