May 21, 2016

Today is a great celebration day, when we honour our military heroes. It's a day to pay tribute to men and women for their patriotic service in support of the United States of America. It's hard not to take for granted the many liberties we enjoy in America, but on this day at least, we should think about the sacrifice made by the members of our armed forces.

In August 31, 1949, the Secretary of Defence Louis Johnson proclamed  the American Armed Forces Day. The first official celebration was on May 20, 1950, when, in honour of this special day, parades, air shows and other celebrations took place: B-36 bombers flew over the capitals of every state, 10.000 veterans and troops marched in Washington, D.C., and more than 36.000 people paticipated in a parade in New York City.

In 1961, John F. Kennedy declared Armed Forces Day a national holiday, being celebrated on the third Saturday of every May with military exercises on land, sea and in the air to honour  members of the U.S. military.

The first Armed Forces Day was important not only for the military heroes, but  also for educating the society about the role military has in the comunity and for them to show of their line of abilities and equipments to the civilian population it protects.

The men and women of the military have made exceptional sacrifices, and for that, on Armed Forces Day, we can do small acts to show our gratitude towards them. Here are some ideas of how you too can show your appreciation:

- Attend a parade. Cities all across the US celebrate with all sorts of parades. You can find the most famous ones in California, Tennessee and Washington D.C.

- Talk to a veteran or someone on active duty, ask questions and listen to their stories. This will be a very appreciated gesture for them, just to see that someone has interest in what they have to share. Who knows, you may discover some good old war stories no movie can describe!

- Visit a memorial where military members are honored through monuments remembering people of their service and sacrifice

- Start a tradition by sending a care package. Check with the local center and see if they can send out the package. A great care package contains non-perishable food,  stationary, toiletries, and-  why not? - a thank you card as well! You can even puchase a pre-made package.

- Fly the flag on Armed Forces Day. Learn first how to follow the United States Flag Code

- Sometimes, the most honest expression of gratitude is a simple thank you.

 

The importance of this day should always be indisputable. Our military members deserve to be treated rightly. Our armed forces exist solely to ensure our nation is safe, so that each and every one of us can sleep soundly at night, knowing we have 'guardians at the gate'." 

–Allen West





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