On this Armed Forces Day, I want to salute them and all our Armed Forces. Whether Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, National Guard, or Coast Guard, our active and reserve service personnel are an important part of the United States.
Did you know that in 1775 – the year before the Declaration of Independence was signed – our national Army, Navy, and Marines were officially formalized?
While this was the beginning of the military branches, wariness of a standing army caused the Founders initially to only employ military men during times of need, and rely on local militias when possible.
Soon it became obvious that a standing national military was necessary to protect the fledgling country and our modern military branches were established. As the armed forces matured and technology advanced, the Air Force became a separate branch in 1947, and with it, the National Guard.
Historically, each armed service branch celebrated its own holiday, but in 1949, all branches came under the administration of the Department of Defense.
The first joint Armed Forces Day was celebrated on May 20, 1950.
A New York Times article from May 17, 1952 stated: “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.”
Every day we should remember that the military is not a faceless entity, but rather the son or daughter, neighbor or friend who chose to be ready to fight so others don’t have to. These men and women in uniform take their responsibility of citizenship one large step further.
I’m the daughter of an World War II Army Air Corp officer, the wife of a retired US Army Reservist, and mother-in-law to a Coast Guard veteran, I know the sacrifices involved.
Today I offer a big thank you to all our Armed Forces, regardless of branch, rank, or duties, for their service and sacrifice.
Won’t you join me?