Raise your U.S. flags and salute a member of the military today – it’s Armed Forces Day!
It all began on August 31, 1949, when Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day as a replacement for the separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days. The first unified celebration of the armed forces occurred on May 20, 1950 and 64 years later, Americans continue the tradition on every third Saturday of May.
Armed Forces Day is a celebration of all members of the military, both who are currently serving and those who have served. It’s also a chance for the public to gain a better understanding of the roles played by those in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and National Guard.
Join us today as we celebrate Armed Forces Day! Here are some ways you can participate.
Nothing says USA quite like waving the red, white and blue. So today, show your patriotism for and support for the troops by displaying the American Flag. But remember to follow American Flag etiquette, which you can view here.
Watch a squadron of jets perform impressive stunts and maneuvers in one of many air shows taking place across the country. One of the more renowned air shows – the Andrews Air Force Base Air Show – was unfortunately cancelled this year, but you can find other options here.
Spending time overseas can take its toll on soldiers — mentally and physically. But care packages remind them of home and can do wonders for morale. Create a personal care package for a military member you know, or use organizations like Adopt-a-Platoon to send one to a soldier in need.
There’s a reason why I saved this for last. Prepare your tear ducts as you watch video after video of soldiers returning home and surprising their loved ones. And while it’s not a traditional way to celebrate Armed Forces day, you’ll certainly gain more of an appreciation for what family members of soldiers have to go through.