MISSOURI, May 17, 2014 — Today, May 17, is Armed Forces Day.
According to a New York Times article published on May 17, 1952: “This is the day on which we have the opportunity to pay special tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces … to all the individuals who are in the service of their country all over the world. Armed Forces Day won’t be a matter of parades and receptions for a good many of them. They will all be in line of duty, and some of them may give their lives in that duty.”
Although those words were written in 1952, they still hold true today. Some sixty-two years later, our service men and women are again in harms way for the specific purpose of fighting the war on terrorism to protect our freedoms.
The Unification Bill passed in 1947 created the Department of Defense and replaced the Office of the Secretary of War with that of the Secretary of Defense.
Secretary Stimson considered this as the most important peacetime reform in our military history. He later wrote, “Under a single leader, the Army, the Navy and the Air Forces could now learn, and be taught, to live together. The great gains of World War Two might thus be consolidated, while a repetition of its occasional failures could be prevented.
On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days. The single-day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense.
On this day, we should be grateful for the members of the armed services as they put their lives on the line to protect those freedoms that we enjoy.
Our service members are true Americans. Their patriotism is laudable. Hearing them talk about their duty and service to country is emotional, and reminds us of our own patriotism.
Remember those who serve on Armed Service Day. Think of them as we look at our main streets, free from enemy occupation, and as we enjoy the simple every day pleasures because we are not faced with the brutality of war on our shores.
Very simply, our freedom, our liberty, our way of life continues thanks to the sacrifices of those in our armed services.
We salute the brave men and women, past, current and future, who protect our country, defend our freedoms, and help make our world a better place to live in.
God bless our Armed Services and keep them out of harms way.
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