Everyone knows about Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day. Did you know that another holiday honoring all branches of the armed forces? Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday of each year. This year it falls on 5/21. To march in step with the honorees, here are 7 fun facts about the holiday.
1. While the main theme of the holiday is the “armed forces”, each year also has a theme. Each year there is a theme. The first theme was “Teamed for Defense” to reflect that all of the armed forces were being honored as one unit. The 2016 theme is “Guardians of Freedom”.
2. Because the holiday celebrates all branches of the armed forces, Armed Forces Day celebrations occur on land, air and sea focusing on the honorees and how the armed forces protect and serve civilians. Because the events take place on a Saturday, civilians can come and watch military instructions that don’t take place on the the Monday military holidays.
3. The first Armed Forces Day took place on May 20, 1950. The Saturday events are the culmination of a full week of celebrations nationwide. In 2016, the festivities began on 5/1/2016 with an entire month of celebrations honoring all branches of the armed forces.
4. Some of the events honoring our armed forces include B-36 bombers flying over each state capital, parades and marches, receptions, and air shows.
5. While Armed Forces Day is recognized nationwide, it is not a federal holiday.
6. JFK issued Proclamation 3399 on 3/18/1961 making Armed Forces an official national holiday.
7. The USA is not the only nation that celebrates a unified armed forces day. Other countries that also celebrate include: Armenia, Australia and New Zealand, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burma, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Guatemala, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Lebanon, Mali, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, North Korea, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, and Vietnam.