There are three major remembrance days dedicated to our nation’s military: Memorial Day, which remembers all who have died in service to the nation in time of war over the course of our entire history; Veterans Day, which honors all who have served in the military in peacetime and in war and who still contribute to the nation with their time, treasure, and talent after their military service; and Armed Forces Day, which honors all who are currently serving on active duty in uniforms in our Armed Forces.
Armed Forces Day was initiated after WWII to specifically honor those who are currently serving the nation in the uniforms of our military services. It was at that time that our Armed Forces were united under one agency, the Department of Defense. Armed Forces Day, then, is designed to make the nation aware that 1.3 million men and women are currently serving in the Armed Forces of the United States of America.
These men and women are serving at home and abroad, at sea and in active combat zones, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. They are in boot camp at the many Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps bases here at home and in many areas around the world. They are in constant training in every aspect of military readiness.
Our armed forces maintain all of the elements and equipment that are necessary to defend the Constitution and the people of this country. They operate hospitals and clinics, participate in operations at sea all over the world, and stand the watch against any and all who would wish to do us harm. They are also helping people around the world to recover from natural disasters.
Those who serve today are all volunteers. They have chosen to serve, for a variety of reasons, but all have taken and honored their oath to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America” with their service and potentially with their very lives.
At present, our active-duty personnel and their families make up less than 1% of this nation’s population. They are bearing the full weight of the nation’s security needs, both here and abroad, and they do so mostly out of sight and out of the mind of the average American citizen. But what these men and women in uniform do 24/7/365 insures for all of us the freedoms enshrined in the Constitution and makes everything possible for the over 99% of us, who, for a variety of reasons, are mostly unaware of the important role these men and women play in making it possible for us to go about our daily business.
Armed Forces Day falls on the 3rd Saturday of May each year. Let us remember, on this Armed Forces Day, all those who are currently serving the nation in the uniforms of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps. If you see anyone in uniform or know any currently active-duty servicemen or women, thank them for their service. Tell your children what military service to the nation means and how important it is and has been to the nation’s well-being. Think about those who are right now standing the watch, and keep them in your prayers.
We say to all who are presently serving, thank you for your service.